Monday, April 30, 2012

Would Jesus be a Christian? Part 3

Yesterday's sermon on being judgmental hit me in an interesting place.

Here were what I saw as some main points:

1) don't hold people outside the church to the same rules we hold those of us inside the church.
Ok- I'm pretty good about that. Check

2) the only (and I mean ONLY) way to share the gospel with people is within a relationship
Ok- I don't go around proselytizing to people I am not in relationship with.

3) place speaking the truth/holding others accountable on equal footing with sharing the grace and mercy of Jesus.
Ok - maybe not as good at this one. I tend to lean more toward justice than grace....

When Caz started talking about Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, I had a revelation. I have the spiritual gift of prophecy and have always looked at it with the attitude of 'it's the TRUTH...take it or leave it.'

And maybe at some point that is really the final stand. But in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says if I have the gift of prophecy but do not speak it in love, then I have nothing. I am simply a clanging gong.

Now I know why my family (who I am always unfortunately the most brutally honest with) look at me the way they do sometimes.  It doesn't matter if I am speaking the truth if it comes out in a hurtful way with no grace attached.

If I am going to speak the truth in such a way that it an be heard and accepted, then I need to speak it in a way that is not shaming, or demoralizing. The truth is something that should bring healing, not pain. God's truth, in particular, should bring redemption and not shame.

I don't want to be a clanging gong for God. I want to be a person who reflects the grace that I have received.

I think I will be asking a few key people in my life to hold me accountable to that desire.

Chesney Szaniszlo

If I speak in human or angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1, 2 TNIV)