Growing up being in a family that went to church every time the doors were open and my Grandfather being a Pentecostal preacher for 55 years, I have seen and heard a lot. I have seen the REAL and the FAKE . I have seen the best and worst in people and it truly gave me a jaded view of church.
My Mother always joked and said that “they” must teach how to be a “FREELOADER” in church or seminary school somewhere and we just missed it. So many go to church to see what they can get instead of what they can give. For me, the times I have been hurt the worst are from people that wear the Church Card wherever they go. Every time they are in church they have to let people know. Be seen. Announce it on Facebook. Talk about about all they are doing for the church. I cannot help but think of the stories of the Pharisees when they wanted to be seen and say their prayers loud for all to hear how spiritual they were. Do I know their hearts, no I don’t. But , as the word says we know people by their fruit. Also, it says we are to hold the body of Christ accountable for their actions.This do not judge statement has totally been taking out of reference. Read and study it again for yourself.
We have had so called friends cry with tears and all of how hard of a time they are having and we give because we cared and loved them and were deeply moved only to see the next week they go buy something extravagant when we did without for giving to them. I call it the “God card.” God told me this or God told me that and what is amazing it goes against every characteristic listed of God according to his word. Love the story of a man coming to the church to ask for help with his utility bill and putting food on the table for his children. The church gave and gave until they finally learn the man smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day, is tanning at the tanning salon and went on a vacation. When the Preacher finally mentioned these facts and maybe he should quit these things to provide for his children, he quit coming to church. The stories are endless.
How about a story where a young couples car quits working and another couple sacrificed and let this couple borrow their car for a week or so until this couple could find another car. 6 months later, they still had this couples car. This giving couple was paying a car note every month while the other couple was clearly taking advantage of them. They were afraid to say anything to them because this couple was studying to be in the ministry. When they finally got called out on it, they had the nerve to say, “God is providing for them.” YEP, you cannot make this kind of stuff up.
I see people treat others so vile. Lying and manipulating to get what they want, using others every step of the way and yet they have their hands up in the air and praising God in church and saying God has provided for them. No, you are using people, plain and simple.
To me, being a Christian is what you stand for when you are not in church on Sunday. To me being a person of faith is doing the right thing when no one is around.
Being a person of integrity and faith means when someone shares a prayer request with you and trust you that you hold their request sacred and you earnestly pray. It is not something to gossip about and announce to others saying, “We need to remember such in such in prayer because _________.” You have just violated someones trust and have tarnished the name of the God we serve.
I have heard by some that hey, we need to be ” unoffendable.” We need to grow thicker skin, maybe so. But, maybe we need to ACT like the Faith believing disciples that we claim to be. We need to hold others accountable. We need to treat others the way we wanted to be treated. We need to try our best to live out what our words say on Facebook. It is really easy to post a scripture on Facebook. Say I am praying for you but are we really? If we say we are going to do something and we don’t do it, well we have lost credibility. Our word should be our bond. When we make a mistake, we own it. When we say we are going to do something we do it long after the feeling is over.
The word of God is not as complicated as we make it seem. We want to twist it and turn it to fit our lifestyle. The word of God does not adjust the robe to fit the man or woman, it adjust the man or woman to fit the righteous robe. We have to have a willing heart. We have to obey and not just listen. We have to stand for what we believe for we were not made to fit in but stand out. We are called to be difference makers for Christ. Think about this, how many times have you heard, “If that is a Christian, I don’t want any part of it?” How about someone you know turn their backs on Christ or the church because of what a “Christian” did to them? I think of the scripture,Psalm 31:3, Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Researching this morning there are 21 scriptures about his name sake. What are we doing? We need to get back to the basics. The basics of life which is and will ALWAYS be the word of God. Our God reigns ~ He holds the ultimate Supreme Court !
For all the ones that go to church to see what they can get, maybe we need to grasp the famous scripture of John 3:16 once again, For God so loved the world that HE GAVE….
Deuteronomy 16:17- Every man shall GIVE as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
Proverbs 21:26- the righteous GIVES and does not hold back.
Proverbs 28:27-He who GIVES to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
To end this, Boundaries are a good thing. The Lord himself has boundaries. There is a difference between giving and being used. It has taking me a long time to understand this and obviously, I still need to brush up on this concept from time to time. Standing up for yourself is a good thing. Amazing to me when people draw the line and say no more, that they are the ones portrayed as the bad person. Please do us all a favor, take off your rose colored glasses and take a hard look at the man/woman in the mirror. If we want change in this world it truly begins with US ~ Living, walking, breathing and believing what we claim to be, CHRISTians. Christ Followers. Read the book. His word is everlasting. It is faithful and it is true. It is the ruler in which we measure our actions !!! THE END !