5 Unsaid Rules of Being a "Good Christian"
- Kelly Balarie PurposefulFaith.com
- 2015 27 Dec
Have you ever talked to a person, bared your soul, shared your burdens and unhinged your padlocked doors only to have your heart trampled due to its “supposed” lack of faithfulness?
I have. I have - times one thousand. I have all the time. I have repeatedly been hurt by opening up to the very people who are missioned in love. With this, it is easy to feel angry, to hesitate next time and to take cover under the bible as you walk in to church.
What we don’t realize is that, as Christians, we have resurrected rules and guidelines to staying within the proverbial safe-box of Christianity. Yet, in reality, all we end up doing is reinforcing lukewarm Christianity. A Christianity that nauseates God.
"So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth." - (Rev. 3:16)
Normally, we believe status “lukewarm” is generated by disobedience. We boil it down to a simple “didn’t do”. But I believe lukewarm status goes far deeper. It bubbles down to being true, authentic and able to call out for help. You see, obedience is lost, in many cases, because man doesn’t have the emotional bandwidth or support to endure. They are simply burnt out by trying to buck up and do right.
A man without support is a man whose foundation is bound to make him fall.
Have you heard the unsaid messages that you can’t speak – truth?
5 Ways People Teach us to be a “Good Christian”
1. They immediately follow up your outpouring of heart with: “Trust God.”
Suddenly a struggling Christian, becomes a loser one.
2. They spout out bible verses like bullets, hoping one will hit the target.
They tend to make a mess of listening and a debacle of understanding. In rushing in, they steal God’s deeper wisdom or more important target – before hitting the person with truth.
To the recipient, it’s an easy, off-the-cuff response to a difficult deep-seated problem. They feel discouraged.
3. Immediately asking, “Have you prayed about this?”
This makes a struggling one into a shamed one. This makes them feel that sharing with you was a mistake and they did not follow legalistic due order.
4. Telling you not to feel that way.
This is a quick backslap that shuts a mouth faster than you can say, “You idiot.”
5. Getting annoyed or running away when hardship talk surfaces again.
This conveys, “Your issues are too much to handle. Good Christians know how to get about their faith walk quickly.”
The intentions are good here, but the execution is not. Sure, there is a time and a place for these types of responses, on occasion, but real wisdom is found by stepping back to think, before you step in to respond.
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." - James 3:17
Let’s remember: If we speak the word rejection, others will walk away feeling rejected. If we can’t handle pain, we usually can’t handle it in our own lives. If we shun the ones Jesus loves, we miss the chance to love as he loved. If we get impatient with hardship, we miss the chance to build endurance, perseverance and the fullness only found in struggle.
"We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." - (Romans 5:3-4)
In a way, listening to others can be hard; it can feel like suffering. But suffering teaches us things, fruitful things. Things like: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” - (Galatians 5:23)
It is worth the risk. Make no mistake, as we step back to allow God to move, we see him move. We see our own hearts emboldened in faith, by his great rescue that we never could have conjured up by our own quick-fix answer.
In this, we are left stronger, wiser, enduring, persevering and hopeful. We are left on fire. Not lukewarm, but warmed with the faithfulness of the one we trusted.
And, the other person? They are left loved. Loved by the power of God, not with the Band-Aids of man. And, they feel emboldened and on fire to push on.
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