A woman I know found $10,000 in an envelope. No one saw her find it, it was cash. She called the police and turned it in. Her friends questioned her. Was she dumb? Naive? The money could have changed her life. What struck her was that some who were Christians told her she was crazy for doing it and what if it were God trying to bless her, what if it were drug money? She began to doubt herself, she couldn’t sleep, she went to God and repented for doing what she thought was right. My heart went out to her because what should have been applauded as good character wasn’t. Yet, I believe there is an eternal reward for her good deed.
In the same week a woman came in for a meeting with a ministry team. She was angry. She said that the music of the church wasn’t anointed and in fact was dead, the ministry was dead and if they wanted to bring life to the home church they had started then they needed to sing this music (she then produced music sheets) and they had to bring in this person to lead worship and they had to minister in a certain way and they had to leave their jobs and dedicate themselves solely to growing the house church. She accused them of not hearing from the Holy Spirit, of not putting into leadership the people she had selected, and accused their wives of not being supportive to their ministry because they told her she should prayerfully consider submission and not speak out against her leaders.
Further in the same week I met with a gentleman who was being asked to make a vow at the altar of our church that he didn’t believe in and wasn’t planning to keep. He is an unbeliever and I explained that our faith takes that vow very seriously and I didn’t want him to make a vow that would compromise his values. I told him that I was praying for his salvation and that I would want him not to have to account for that vow on judgment day. He said he didn’t believe in a judgment day so it was no big deal. I asked him as politely as I could to postpone this decision because we took this vow very seriously. He became angry, felt judged and although it wasn’t my intention for him to feel this way, neither was I willing to compromise my belief. It went downhill fast. He went away frustrated and mad, and I went away feeling I didn’t handle it well, feeling that I could not accommodate him and neither could I back up his vow as a witness. Unless two agree they don’t walk together. Fortunately, I don’t make the final decision on the outcome. I just report back.
These things weighed heavily on my heart and Sunday I pretty much cried through the worship service. No wonder the world calls us hypocrites, I thought, as I laid it all bare to the Lord. When we think God doesn’t have the right to make clearly defined lines that we are supposed to keep then what does the world think? When we don’t stay in our place where leadership and ministry is concerned then what does the world think? When we explain our faith and how we believe, an unbeliever doesn’t believe us because he’s seen so much hypocrisy. He thinks I was harsh and picking on him because I didn’t want him to compromise and say things his heart didn’t feel and I didn’t want to compromise Jesus. Neither of us left successful that day.
Paul said: Acts 20:25. “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
My prayer this week is that I can say that I am innocent of the blood of all men. We serve a God who IS. Jesus was pretty clear about feeding his sheep, keeping his Father’s commandments and loving one another. Lord, guide me to be a good witness to you. I want to do the will of the Father. Yes, I know that I fall short daily but let me be one who although does sin is not controlled by sin but by Jesus Christ. Help to explain my faith so that I don’t become a stumbling block or set someone back from serving the Kingdom. Lord, I want to be pleasing to you.
3 thoughts on “Doing The Wrong Thing”
Pastor Susan, dear one, beloved of the Lord and so many others,
My heart goes out to you now. It’s troubling when we experience “believers” who don’t follow the law of love. Whether hearing about questionable advice that causes a good deed to be criticized or hearing of someone wielding the Word as a bludgeoning club rather than a finely honed scalpel for excising a perceived problem, our spirits are grieved. And when we try to prevent someone from making a mistake with eternal consequences, especially when it appears there are no consequences, that’s very frustrating.
How does this color others’ perceptions of our belief system? That’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it? When I was growing up it was believed that children acted as they did because of their parents, whether that was true or not. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” was often intoned. Applying that to the lives of those in the family of God, what must others think of Jesus? I know you’re grieving over how our Lord is perceived, as well as hoping that the words, attitudes, and actions of those in the family neither hinder another from stepping onto the path of life, nor cause those already there to trip and fall.
When such things happen in my life, my heart breaks, yet I am reminded that each of us progress at a different rate, also that Jesus assured His Father in prayer that He knew His sheep, and had lost none of them (John 17:12).
Today, I pray the Lord brings you comfort, soothing your wounded heart; and that He sends you someone who will encourage you to continue seeing His family through His eyes, as they all (eventually) grow up together in love.
All of Heaven’s bet to you,
Thanks for your kind words. They are a soothing balm to my spirit. May the Lord richly bless you today and forever!
Standing for truth is never popular when the profit is in the other direction.