If anyone says, ” I love God,” and hates (dislike, dishonour, ignore or criticise) his brother, he is a LIAR; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen – 1 John 4: 20
How in the world can you call a child of God, toxic? How can you be so violently criticizing another person when you have zero qualms about your own faults?
My pastor always says, “if Tom has a problem, Tom is the problem”. I am not saying this is totally a biblical concept. But if you have to be so bitter and criticize a fellow member in Christ; or even a random person on social media or in front of others; then you have to know how much your pride has overshadowed you.
Yes, we have to ensure that we are stern with people who constantly make it difficult and are drowning in sin. But if you haven’t gone just few miles of seeing them out of it; have never taken an extra mile without complaining or badmouthing, then what gives you the right to “tag” them and make yourself look holy or victimised?
On one side we talk about sacrificial love without having any idea the price that is to be paid for a sacrifice. Sacrifice always has to do with completely overlooking anything for our own benefits. Now, we aren’t called to love everybody with a sacrificial love. Similarly, we aren’t called to criticize a person whom we haven’t sacrificially loved. And, if we genuinely sacrifice for someone, we would never disgrace them publically or privately.
Beloved, let’s not display ourselves into a cheap image of manipulating or exalting our reputation. The more we try to guard it, the more it slips out of our hands. Do what the Word says, and do it all unto Jesus. If you feel someone harms you, you take a step back till you get healed. Don’t be so enthusiastic to tickle someone else’s ears with your gossip and comments.
Yes, when you engage in a conversation you may discuss about faults of another person; but if your heart isn’t concluding it with, “How can we help them to come out of this?” Then my friend you have been weighed just as Cain, who murdered his brother.
Once a friend told me at how irritating a sister in our church was. She happened to go and complain to the pastor about it. The reply was very interesting, “God has ordained this to be very divine to shape your patience and character. If they don’t irritate you, you will never know what’s inside of you.” Today, after so many years have passed by, they, still have been one set of close friends who stood the test of those irritations and offenses. Not for once have they criticized each other without an intention of coming back in the love of Christ.
I am here with this awe of God because somebody let themselves to be used by God to love me. If they gave up; I would have been a zero. Not just me, they too are accountable if they had missed the opportunity to be the Jesus kind of person in my life. How many people have we given up, written off and made up our mind to never ever see the slightest hope of good in them?
Just because of one wrong that you have assumed or something that happened don’t get so outrageous where you are spreading bitterness. This doesn’t help you or anyone who are around you. It makes your life stagnant and heavy. Only love covers a multitude of sins- ours and our offenders’.
The joy I get when I can smile and hug a person who knowingly or unknowingly offended me is the greatest freedom. I feel yuck and horrible if I ever have to say bad about them. And till I get on my knees and bless them with all that’s within me; I am just reduced to a person who have never known Jesus’ goodness.
But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also – Matthew 5:39
We have no love if we can magnify the faults of others without giving room for God’s grace to be taking the bigger place. Not everyone is destined to be good or nice to us. This will include people in the body of Christ too. But that gives us zero right to judge them or let them down. The bible clearly says, if you have an offense, don’t bother giving an offering (Matthew 5: 23 onward). So how much ever money you pour into the offering basket, but your heart isn’t straightened in love, then that money would be great thing for people who cannot see your heart, but not for God.
When I write this I am reminded of those times I have engaged in criticizing, gossiping and demeaning another person; whether it was justifiable or whether it made me soothe my self-pity state. The scrubbing and conviction of the Holy Spirit was so strong that I could see blessings that flowed so smoothly stop, because I chose to harbor and SPREAD bitterness. If we talk about our offense and offenders to people more than once, then we are just making matters worse for us and them. The person listening and talking gets so affected if it’s not exposed and tackled with the Word of God.
We are empowered to love the unlovable, the hurtful and the difficult people if we stop retaliating to their negativity in any form. Our love transforms and delivers people not just to be a blessing to others but to us too; and bring massive glory to God.