I sinned… Yup, yesterday I called a guy a jerk. I’m not proud of what I have done, but nonetheless I have to confess that over a period of time, deep in my heart I have sworn at him in worse terms over and over again – it took so much of control not to let it fall off the tip of my tongue. In fact, my close friends kept asking me why I was still friends with him let alone entertaining communication. I had always felt bad to pull away, for not being accepting of him as a person but yesterday was the final straw.
In addition to all the insults and bullying over the past, I got called a sack of potatoes as apparently my tummy is hanging now and that’s what I look like. Worse was that he gloats at how “honest” he is and unlike other guys, that he speaks the truth and doesn’t flatter. It doesn’t matter to him that his words condemn and belittle God’s creation – he boasts instead. Mind you, this guy is just a friend too! I find it sad that for him me looking like a sack of potatoes is ‘truth’. Yes, I have a little tummy, so what?! It’s no issue for me and it surely doesn’t hinder my walk with God or His Kingdom, right?
I had been praying asking God for wisdom to know when walking away isn’t selfish and when needing to stay to be a friend and help the person grow. My patience with this person had run out and I was wondering whether I was actually feeding into his sin by remaining friends. Interestingly within a few hours, as I was writing yesterday’s post, this verse was revealed to me:
Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips – Proverbs 14:7 (NIV)
“Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge” – ESV
“Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge” – NASB
“Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge” – NKJV.
Abuse in any form makes me angry… We are consistently hearing of various abuses including child molestation daily in the news, especially in this part of the world. It bothers me because people don’t realise that SARCASM, BULLYING, NAME CALLING are all stepping stones of ABUSE. Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical and sexual and financial abuse. If we as believers want to stand up against abuse in the WORLD, shouldn’t we start with ourselves first? It is these ‘little’ things that develop into more the more the perpetrators get away with it. If adults are doing it, then what hope do we have for little children to become Christ like? What example are we setting? Besides the children that get abused at tender ages affects them a lot, it gives them the foundation for their lives and to who they believe they are.
Laughing WITH someone when they laugh at their own mistakes or blunders is one thing,
but laughing AT someone is another.
A godly man will not be a bully… I seriously wondered if a mature guy who calls himself a believer and who is into ministry at some level can say these words, what can be expected from a young child? When someone hurts someone’s feelings and even when told that it hurts, to answer proudly or boast about their ‘honesty’ shows this person has no compassion or love in his heart. We are called to love one another as OURSELVES.
First of all when we poke fun at someone – we are poking fun at none other than God’s creation which God Himself called ‘It is good’! Imagine calling a human being that God created in His image, a sack of potatoes. In essence, isn’t that calling God a sack of potatoes?
We are indeed called to speak the truth. However, Paul clearly writes to do so IN LOVE which results in all things us growing up into Him, Christ, who is the Head (Ephesians 4:15).
- Does what we speak make people grow up into Christ or is it encouraging them to run away from Christ as we are after all the ambassadors of Christ?
- To what extent are we representing Christ?
Which leads us to the next question, what is TRUTH? Jesus Christ clearly says , “I am THE way, THE life and THE TRUTH” which makes it clear that TRUTH is Christ Himself. Are our statements of “truth” reflecting Christ?
Yes we don’t live to please people but we should please our neighbour “for his good, to build him up” (Romans 15:2). We are called to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Paul writes that he will not be ashamed of boasting in the authority given by God to build up rather than to pull someone down (2 Corinthians 19:8).
If someone is pulling us down, we need to really seek God’s wisdom to discern the fruit.”.. for a tree is recognised by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33) and “no good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit” (Luke 6:43).
As believers, we are told:
“Finally brothers, whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE – if anything is EXCELLENT or PRAISEWORTHY – think about such things” – Philippians 4:8
- What words do you speak?
- What type of fruit do you bear? What is the character of the tree?
So a P.S. for singles – it’s not what a guy (or gal too of course) says re his faith and it’s not about what ministries a guy does, but rather it’s about the fruit that he yields… The above verses also contribute towards the testing of fruit.