Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sheep injuring Sheep

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

My heart has been so burdened by the problems that many churches are experiencing because of the tongue of some church members. There are to many of God's sheep injuring other sheep! The Bible says that we will be held accountable for every word that we speak. We will be held accountable to the damage that we cause the Body of Christ. The Word of God challenges us to live BLAMELESS lives, but too often we live CARELESS. We need to allow the love of God to guide our life and our words! Listen to what God's Word says about this…

Let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:14)

Gossiping usually means passing on information when you're neither part of the problem or the solution. It's like accepting stolen property - it makes you just as guilty of the crime. The moment somebody begins to gossip you should say, "Stop, why do I need to know this? Have you talked directly to that person?" Wise up. People who gossip to you will gossip about you. They can't be trusted! Furthermore, when you entertain gossip God says you're a troublemaker. Listen: "Troublemakers listen to troublemakers" (Proverbs 17:4 CEV). And Jude adds, "These are the people who divide you, people whose thoughts are only of this world" (Jude 1:19 NCV)

Isn't it sad that in God's flock the greatest wounds come from other sheep, not wolves!

Galatians 5:14-17 For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. [Lev. 19:18.] (15) But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another. (16) But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). (17) For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.

He says these troublemakers should be avoided and disciplined. Listen again: "A gossip reveals secrets; therefore, do not associate with a babbler" (Proverbs 20:10 NRSV) The fastest way to end conflict is to lovingly confront those who are gossiping and insist that they stop it. Solomon pointed out, "Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and tensions disappear when gossip stops" (Proverbs 26:20 TLB).

Start practicing Christ's method of conflict resolution!
(1) "Work it out between the two of you."
(2) "If he won't listen, take one or two others along."
(3) "If he still won't listen, tell the church [leadership]" (Matthew 18:15-17 TM). That's God's way. It must be ours too!


Pastor Rusty