For several months now I have observed harmful behavior on Facebook and last night was no different than any other night. I think people are bolder and more confrontational behind the computer screen and say things much more in this dynamic than if they were face to face. After seeing some conflicting conversations on Facebook I felt led to write and this was what I wrote. It was being posted to my Facebook wall and felt it was better to voice my thoughts in this format than on the wall itself so I quickly copied and paste to here. Then I elaborated more . . .
. . . somehow when one speaks their perspective of truth and shares a way to live and it is against what one believes it seems to mean that you are judging or then not loving the person(s) . . . some are misconstruing the definitions of judging, truth, and love.
Jesus spoke often of the way to live BETTER and it was often against what one believed . . . did that mean He was judging or unloving? Not at all!
Unfortunately numerous spiritual leaders of this day that are popular are the ones who spread a message of fulfilling the desires of ones heart for each owns successes and prosperity's - a lot of feel good. The majority of Christians don't want correction, they don't want to look at their heart issues. That is what makes these leaders popular. They promote 'choose the life you want to live' mentality. Which in my opinion enhances this subject matter.
There is a right way and a wrong way to bring correction. On a public format such as Facebook is not the place. I have seen this over and over and it breaks my heart to see people being attacked for bad behavior, beliefs, etc. on their own personal Facebook walls.
When one voices a truth or an opinion for their own life - they are shot down and not accepted for the life they choose to live that is for themselves and their family. It's amazing how someone shares a belief on their wall and on their own wall they are attacked for their opinion.
I pray that if I have an objection or a correction that I would do it privately with the person. I am not with out fault in this area. I have made bad choices myself in the area of correcting. I have learned from those mistakes and I have been attacked enough personally to know what it feels like.
Why do we have to be so harsh and condemning one another for their beliefs. Where is the grace and mercy and love that we are to extend to one another.
If you MUST disagree take it privately in your discussions. In the open it shows such disunity to one another. There is no love present. Just the desire to plead ones own cause and justify yourself. We love . . . as long as they fit into our mold.
We must be tolerant of others for their uniqueness as human beings, with differing temperaments, talents, callings, needs, hungers and dreams. This is a tolerance that makes an honest effort to understand another’s beliefs, callings, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or approving them.
Tolerance hinges between apathy and bigotry. Tolerance, for some people, is mere spiritual laziness, no conviction. On the other hand, for some, tolerance gives no freedom to others, but attempts to force others to conform to their convictions. We must learn to respect each human being for their struggle. We must accept people for what they are and permit each person to become what they want to become. We cannot live other people’s lives. Each person must accept responsibility for their own living.
Some people think it doesn't matter how you seek God or what you believe about Him. This "anything goes" attitude toward God is one form of what the world calls tolerance. The world's definition is not helpful to people who truly want a relationship with God. God's Word, on the other hand, gives very clear instructions. It does not treat all beliefs as equal; instead, it points to the one and only path, which is found in Jesus.
Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." What you choose to believe about God matters. It is the most important choice of your life.
Personally, I believe that there are several ways to live a Christian lifestyle:
(1)There are those who have said the sinners prayer but there has been no transformation in their lifestyle. I will not go into this at this time, but there must be transformation after you say the sinners prayer.
(2)Those that have said the sinners prayer and there has been a transformation. At some point in their walk there has become a stagnant desire to increase in the knowledge of the things of God and to allow the Holy Spirit to continue changing and transforming them. The desire to increase and become more like Him has diminished.
(3) Those that have said the sinners prayer, have been transformed and continue to seek the Lord for further transformation. They desire to be in His presence and prayer at all times. They desire for His likeness and image to be transparent through their own lives. They desire to be set apart and not conform to the ways of the world. They desire to establish His Kingdom on earth. They are radically sold out and they walk the straight and narrow, there is very little of fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.
Each of these three lifestyles will have benefits available to your walk. The benefits will increase as the degree of your walk increases. Personally, I want as much of an enriched life on earth as one can have. Perhaps this illustration will help:
I am told of a speed limit sign in a city which read, “30 miles per hour speed, $1.00 fine for every mile over the speed limit, chose the speed you can afford.”
Chose any old way you want to live but be willing to accept the consequences for the kind of life that you chose. Only when we are sure of ourselves are we willing to let others be themselves. When we are unstable in our own character and doctrine, do we try to reassure ourselves by trying to compress others into our mold. Proper tolerance is genuinely loving people.
"Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life." Deuteronomy 30:19-20
We have no tolerance for one another . . . if we can not tolerate one another how in the world are we to love one another?
As Christians, we are to be in the loving business and Jesus defines it clearly for us in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” God is tolerant toward us. He puts up with us. He gives us freedom to develop into what we chose to be. God loves us and He willingly takes the risk that we will love Him back. Whether we do or not is up to us. Since God tolerates us, ought we not tolerate each other?
Prayer: Father, I thank You for the people in my life who help me learn more about You. I ask that You help me recognize when other people's opinions do not agree with Your Word and I will discern if I am to pray for that person or offer in private my observation which will be offered in mercy and love.
Lord, those times when I hear other people's opinions and I do not agree with it because it offends my lifestyle, Lord, I ask that You give me the ability to discern that it's offensive because it is sin and I see that I need to change.
Father I ask that you give me discernment for either situation and quicken it to my spirit.
For the times that its opinion and we don't have clarity in Your Word. For those times that Your Word is clear but the person has yet not conquered this area in their life or chooses to not conquer . . . Lord, give me mercy and love for those that don't agree with me and may I give it to You in prayer. I know it is the Holy Spirit that corrects.
Thank you, Father, for this little bit of wisdom. Help me, Father to let go and not hold back the kindness you show to all. Let me live my life, not to escape suffering, but to avoid causing suffering for others. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.