I hate Facebook sometimes.
I know, I know. I’m still on it. It is what it is. And honestly, I don’t leave it because I want to carry a voice across the web that declares hope and unconditional love in a generation that is met with resistance, criticism and condemnation.
That being said, I think today I hate Facebook because it has highlighted the division the Church decides to hang out in. I’d rather not get into details of it, other than to highlight what God spoke to me about today.
As believers, it’s important we take our cue from Jesus when it comes to confronting and relating to others. There are many believers who take this as a command to be bold, unashamed and loud (with words) against all form of ungodliness and unholiness. And though yes, it is of the utmost importance that we take a stance against ungodliness, I believe it is even more important that we take a stand in the name of God’s attributes as Merciful, Loving & Just. Let us not forget that His Justice was satisfied for the believer on the Cross of Calvary and that because of that, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
None. Zero. Zip.
If that is true, friends, then we should be aware that when we publicly criticize another believer we are no longer partnering with Christ and His opinion of them, but rather with enemy camp. Christ in His dealings was incredibly merciful and “private” if you will when He brought loving correction and rebuke to those whose heart was tender and willing. No matter how bad their sin was, whether Jew or Gentile, Pharisee or Prostitute, if the heart was willing and tender, He dealt lovingly and kindly. He never humiliated and never exposed a sin (to others) where the heart was bent towards His goodness. His dealings remained between Him & the individual. Think, Woman at the Well.
Some of you will jump at the above statements and bring up the instance in Scripture where Christ called the Pharisees “brood of vipers” and He made a whip and basically started going all gangster on His people. Yep, our Jesus did that too. But friends, let’s look at the context. Let’s look at His audience. When Christ called these ones “brood of vipers,” the Pharisees had spent their lifetime burdening His people with laws and regulations. They were pompous about their own standing with God and they consistently pointed the faults in others. Their religion was loud and their hearts proud. They were unwilling to recognize the Man they claimed to wait for. Y’all. These were the leaders that focused on the exterior of man rather than the interior.
I have said once, I’ll say it again and again a dozen times.
God is concerned about our heart. His end goal is to win our heart entirely. When He does that, our actions will follow. You will be untainted by the world, not because it’s the right thing to do but because it’s the natural response of our heart to His love. God will forever deal with us in mercy (even if we struggle with the same struggle for our entire life). He is slow to anger friend, enduring in mercy. If He is, why shouldn’t we be? Why tear each other apart in the name of Holiness? What do we gain in publicly humiliating one another?
I have been guilty of everything I just shared. I don’t want to be ever again.
“You are fairer than the sons of men. Grace is poured upon Your lips. Therefore God has blessed You forever.” (Psalm 45:2 NKJ)