Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Omnishambles (05/01/14)
TITLE: Bruised Believers
By Chris Goglin
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Has anyone ever been angry with you and shouted their disapproval? Most of us do not realize we have done wrong and the attack surprises us and catches us off guard. If done publicly, it may affect us dramatically. Even though we may be responsible, it is embarrassing. An example is a situation where I had to drop out of a choir concert due to circumstances involving a move out of state. The director came up to me in church, noticeable angry, and said, “I love you, but I am mad at you!” He grumbled and walked away. I just stood there humiliated. Replaying his actions for weeks in my mind kept me from visiting our former church. If I had managed my feelings properly, I should have told him how I felt, but just left things up in the air. More importantly, we both needed to forgive each other.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you”. Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
Many, unintentionally, use private information about a person that happens to slip out in the gossip aisle of the church. A friend of mine attended a Bible study where her teacher used her as an example of one with a weak faith because she experienced a dominant fear in her life. This not only let the whole group know what her fear was, but also affected her ministry. She eventually left the church crying. Some people have very bold personalities and do not even realize they hurt others with their words and actions.
We should all remember, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matt. 12:7 (NIV)
Church splits are often the by-product of a miner quarrel swelling into a congregational battle. Choosing sides, lashing out in a cruel manner, and disrupting life-long friendships will break the bond of love needed for a warmhearted body of believers. Most of us have gone through a split in our lifetimes, and it leaves a sick, sad feeling that never seems to go away. The people we deeply cared for move on in their spiritual lives and do not care to look back. Whenever church attenders disagree, guilt feelings may come to the surface. The victim wonders whether he was truly responsible, the perpetrator feels bad for insensitivity. After all, love is the focus of a congregation where Jesus sets the perfect example.
If we can learn to manage our feelings with grace and patience, the guilt and broken relationships may have a chance to heal. Bottled-up emotions can lead to depression, insecurity, and serious health issues. We are fortunate to have a loving God with an instruction guide for these problems by using our Bibles daily. If only more believers would depend on this divine manual, instead of letting our tongues get the best of us.
“ Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” Job 6:24 (KJV)
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