Avoid the Dumb Mistakes Christians Make
- Tuesday, July 18, 2006
* Living below the level of your beliefs. Be alert to sins that can slip past your spiritual radar and become part of your daily routine. Reject materialism by refusing to waste time and energy on pursuing things God isn’t clearly calling you to pursue. Reject worry by trusting that God is in control, even when you’re under pressure. Reject superiority by praying for a humble heart. Help your church become a place that presents God’s whole message instead of watered-down, seeker-friendly principles. Get to know the Bible well, and be ready to speak from Scripture rather than pop psychology when talking with others. Stay connected to God through daily prayer, and give Him your heart anew each day to stay close to Him.
* Speaking above the level of your knowledge. Be careful about saying more than you truly know. Resist the temptations to analyze people, explain suffering, spread rumors, or believe everything you hear. Take the time to think before you speak. Ask God to keep you from doing harm through your conversations and help you do good through them instead.
* Hopping from church to church. Realize that there’s no such thing as a perfect church. Rather than constantly searching for a church that can serve you better, decide to serve your current church. Ask God to give you the motivation to become committed and involved. Remember the blessings that come from a long-term commitment to one church: a sense of belonging, a sense of accomplishment, discoveries about yourself, lots of meaningful relationships, and a powerful witness for Christ. Start giving your time, energy, and money on a regular basis to contribute to your church’s work. Join a Sunday school class or small group to build friendships with others in your congregation. Understand that there are many biblical commands that you can’t fulfill if you’re church-hopping, such as: being devoted to one another, serving one another, building yourselves together, teaching and counseling each other, building each other up, leaving peaceably with each other, encouraging and warning each other, confessing your sins to each other and praying for each other, and living in harmony with one another.
* Fighting among yourselves. Do all you can to work conflicts with other Christians out peacefully. Understand that church feuds lead to disaster, because: church leaders are distracted, church members not involved in the feud are discouraged, God’s work is disrupted, the community’s seekers are disenchanted, important beliefs such as forgiveness are disregarded, the congregation’s testimony is discredited, and God Himself is dishonored. Remember Christ’s statement that believers’ love for one another will prove to the world that they are His disciples. Help create a calm and loving culture in your church by obeying church leaders, confronting troublemakers, refuting heresy, meeting hurting people’s needs, suppressing legalism and modeling grace and kindness, discouraging arguments, and forgiving sinners.
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