Nice title huh? If you’re offended, Sorry. I have a friend who calls “shut-up” the “S” word….(she’s cute- you’d like her) I usually laugh and say that’s not the “s” word at our house….But- it IS rude. Just using it to blow off steam. (Besides, it really isn’t the “S” word we avoid at my house;)
I have confession. I’m annoyed. With brother and sister Christians, actually. Not all of them– just some of them- and then- just sometimes. It seems like in a lot of places I click… criticism runs rampant. I don’t get why people have to complain about, criticize and gripe about other Christians, publicly or otherwise. Even, making fun of their convictions and their perspectives. Often times the people doing it, are leaders.
Don’t get me wrong- I’ve been known to think I have “the spiritual gift of criticism.” I know how it feels to believe strongly that something is wrong- and should be (must be) confronted. I totally “get” feeling passionately about truth. I just think you can communicate truth – without ripping people apart. I don’t have to teach my kids the right things- by pointing to other kids and saying– “See that kid? They are bad. Wrong. Stupid. Don’t act like that.” I mainly teach my kids by telling them what’s right. I think blogs/website etc are a perfect place to do that. Say what you think- feel believe- know- without criticizing others.
I also know how important it is to handle the confrontation in a way that honors God. Honestly, I’ve done it both ways. Im not proud- but let’s face it- I learn best the hard way.
This is what I’ve learned: (Granted- it’s nothing new. duh- it’s stuff we know- but forgetto apply sometimes;)
Being right, isn’t license to be mean. It’s a responsibility to be handled with care.
Matthew 18:15-19 gives pretty clear direction for handling conflict/correction.
1) GO TO THAT PERSON.
2) If they don’t respond- take someone else with you and then, go back.
3) If THAT fails- then take it to the church. (The leadership under whom that person is accountable)
4) Not all conflict can or will be resolved. Roman’s gives us a glimpse at our responsibility: It’s on us. Individually. As much as it depends on me- (sometimes a lot- sometimes not so much) I have to live at peace with others.
My bottom line: I think it’s wrong to blog about (or do the same, in other contexts conversations etc. ) other people. When I see it- I usually try to lovingly confront. Though sometimes, I just click away and don’t bother responding. (I figure everybody is human, and ocassionally may blog/speak before we think.) If it’s there enough times- I just. Stop. Clicking.
What we put out here on the web- is viewed by all kinds of people… how are we representing Christ, and the love of Christ, if we’re filling our space griping about, judging, criticizing, His body? 1 John 3 is a good reminder about how we’re to treat each other.
So- Why am I doing exactly what I’m saying not to do? (kind of) Because I want accountability. If you see me post something that is nasty or critical of others-(even if it’s funny) I want you to confront me. (Then probably run… cause if you’re RIGHT… I’ll probably get angry and embarrased- but I usually come around pretty quick;) You can find my e-mail in the profile section. Or-go ahead- leave a comment- tell me not to be a jerk- I’ll appreciate it- eventually;)
“Lord Jesus- It’s so hard to navigate the differences in the body of Christ- I pray for wisdom in how to handle them in a way that honors you and respects others. God, I pray for courage to say the right things to the right people, at the right times. I pray for your people to love each other- with a love that draws others to you- with a love and compassion that comes only from you. Lord- I pray that you’d be represented well-in the blogosphere- and everywhere- I love you Lord- amen.”
PS— Or should I say “PMS?” Double posts in one day are usually a pretty clear warning we’ve entered the “danger zone” of the month….. that is all. ;)