Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A Caution for Critics
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
I am always amazed at how people who claim to be believers can be filled with hate and be so critical and mean-spirited. When we become Christians, we are to be characterized by our love. Sure, we can correct one another and reprove one another. Sure, we are to be careful and discerning. But we can do these things in a loving way.
I have seen believers harshly criticize others and their actions, and meanwhile, they are doing nothing at all for the kingdom of God. They are quick to criticize everyone else's efforts, but they are doing nothing themselves other than critiquing.
As Warren Wiersbe has said, "Impatience with God often leads to impatience with God's people. . . . If we start using the sickles on each other, we will miss the harvest." I have seen Christians divide over minor issues rather than pull together for the sake of the gospel.
The Bible tells the story of a devoutly religious man named Saul who claimed to have belief in God, yet he felt it was his job to eradicate a new sect of believers who followed the one called Jesus from Nazareth. Saul went out of his way to find Christians, and he wasn't satisfied with just arresting those who were in Jerusalem. He obtained extradition orders that allowed him to go as far away as Damascus—140 miles away from Jerusalem—to find more believers to arrest and imprison.
Saul was a religious man, but he was a godless man. He was running from God. He was attacking Christians. He was thinking he would successfully destroy the Christian faith. But he had a surprise in store on the Damascus Road, because little did he realize that he was about to have an encounter with Jesus Christ himself.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.