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Janet's Blog

Is this You or Have You been Affected by It?

Ungodly Behavior Among Christians.
This post is thought provoking and is written in the interest of Unity among those who are members of His Body, bringing healing to those who need it and correction to those who need it. Grace and Peace to all.
 
We are called to be like Jesus, reflecting His Nature with each other and to those who don’t know Him. We are also meant to “encourage and strengthen each-other all the more as the Coming of The Lord draws near. Uplift and Edify” 1 Thess 5:11 (JV)
 
Every so often, I am prompted to write articles concerning Christian's behavior because it is so necessary. Do you know that our manner is supposed to bring healing to those around us and the fragrance of Christ into someone's day? (including our fellow Christian) Not the opposite. So like the servants of God in Scripture, it is on my heart to remind you of these things once again. I did some research on the Net this time to see how much these things are being addressed. I think you would be surprised. The following excerpts from an excellent article ring so true to me, so I have included them in this address and I wish to say “well done!”
 
Slander and Gossip: Destructive to Friendships in Church Community, and Grieving to God.
 
This writer wrote “If I had a dollar for every time that someone said they had a “prayer request” or a “concern” about someone, and then they proceeded to gossip and slander another fellow Christian, I really do think I’d be rich beyond belief. It has, quite honestly, occurred around me my entire life.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been a part of a church community that didn’t have an issue with gossips and slanderers.
 
In my experience, the great majority of “prayer requests” and “concerns” and everything else that is called ‘exposing sin’ is nothing but a cover-up for clear and undeniable sin. Which sin? Gossip and slander. That does not mean that confrontation is unbiblical.
We are to guard the truth (1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 1:14), to contend for apostolic faith (Jude 3), and to stand firm (Eph. 6:10-20). But Christians are commanded to
build each-other up (1 Cor. 12) and to strive for peace (Heb. 12:14).”
 
I don’t see much of this!
 
“I believe that most slanderers rarely take a look at their own sin and their own need for grace and mercy and love and compassion. They tend to ignore their own sin and shortcomings, but they are really good at pointing out the flaws of others” however, they do this rashly without sensitivity or perception of those they hurt and defame. 

_____________________

In Australia, that is called Deformation of Character and punishable by law, yet there are many Christians who get away with this in small communities.
 
I have a wonderful friend who is a Carer for a mother with Schizophrenia and had this condition since my friend was little. She was brought up mostly by a Christian grandparent. She is a fine caring Christian woman who has a prayer-life and wisdom that few Christians could match. Her life has been far from easy and she is faithful to God, conducting herself well and capably in all her affairs. Her church community has a number of busybodies who have attempted to impose their standards on her and have made malicious gossip about her behind her back. What are your thoughts about such people?
 
The writer goes on to say “They tend to ignore facts. Those who slander others generally work on little to no actual substance. The stuff that they say isn’t based on facts, but is often based on perceptions. Or worse, it’s based on their own opinions and actually ignores facts. For example, someone continues to make false statements about someone’s beliefs and will not, under any circumstance, adjust those statements when they are presented with facts.”
 
That is true of some people in my friend’s community – sorry to say, I cannot call them Christians.
Should they not encourage her and stand by her?
If they were busy pleasing The Lord, surely they would find less time to meddle in her affairs and maybe each-others:)  Have you heard the favorite phrase of some Christians? "The Lord told me to tell you" when they think up a few cookies for you. There's a name for that in our Bible, it's called "taking the name of The Lord in vain." When The Lord truly speaks to us concerning someone, we don't even need to use that phrase, because it will witness in their spirit - He will never direct anyone to say something that clashes with the way He speaks to them - this simply means you are trespassing, so we should maybe watch our step. Not many of us like to say 
"what can I do to help?" Then we could be sure we are in God's Will, couldn't we?

This may sound like an indictment: Someone in my family fellowships in a Christian cult (there are some major doctrinal errors) but they are taught to Walk in Love with each-other and be ready for Jesus Coming. My family member has a serious medical condition for some months now and they gather around her through the week and weekends, cheering her up, doing things together and have brought her much comfort when she lost her mum – they helped to fill in the gap. What's more is, Christians from her fellowship visit each-other often like the best of friends. They gather together at a friends house just to read Scriptures and sing together (wholesome scriptures). And also, they show great respect and interest in the elderly.
 
Isn't that how Evangelical and Charismatic Christians should be?
“We have all the right teaching” don't we? Where is the LOVE and commitment to one-another?
The fellowship I've just mentioned sounds similar to the Early Church, do they not?
 
To tell you the truth, it has been my observation for 40 years now, that the enemy is willing for us to have the TRUTH without the Love or the LOVE with Error.......but not
TRUTH without Error and LOVE. There are not many Fellowships (Churches) with Both.

I knew someone in a different Christian Cult years ago who had close fellowship with
each-other too. They would phone each-other through the week, and have
Casserole and Buffet nights in different homes – similar to the Home Church Movement.
There is a song that goes “Come on Aussie, come on, come on” in Australia, and there's a Christian song from the early 70s “They will know we are Christians by our Love.”
 
There was a really nice Pastor some years ago who had a good Evangelistic gifting. He had an exceptionally good way of preaching straight from his heart. Members of his church community destroyed his ministry by making slanderous accusations behind his back, after he changed the premises they were in, to reach more people who needed to find Jesus. He commenced a Natural Health practice some months after disillusion and brought his patients to The Lord. They're always befriending Christians, even when he was a Pastor – very open and generous hearted.

Wouldn't you say there were no grounds to be discontent with him and his family? Much less, gossip and slander – behind the poor man's back, mind you? And it kept getting back to him!
Merciless people, wicked! And that's what good living people in the world think when they see unloving Christians too!
 
Sorry to say, back-biting, envy, gossip, slander and strife does not only go on in religious main-line churches, it goes on in Pentecostal and Evangelical churches as well, like the two stories above.
 
“We have to remember that we were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). And those whom Christ has saved, He has saved by His precious blood. He has saved them because of His great love (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16). Your slander is against someone created in God’s image who Christ Loves so much that He was willing to die for them and Save them.”
 
Does your slander appropriately match the feelings and actions that Jesus has? “NO!”
 
And finally the writer says, “It is Destructive to Friendships. It’s sad to think that strong friendships have been destroyed due to gossip and slander. Yet I have witnessed it happen many times. But Proverbs 16:18 tells us that “a gossip separates the closest friends” (NET).

"If you stop and really consider this, you’ll probably think of some personal examples. And it’s really sad. It may even hurt a little bit. People who were once close and in strong relationships are now bitter rivals and have nothing but bitterness and unforgiveness in their hearts towards the other.”
 
The very same transgressors described in this post will tell you that they are Christians, Born Again and Saved by the Blood of Jesus…….He is Coming again, they are going to be with Him and so forth. But are they?
The Apostle Paul would say “I could not address you as spiritual but as those who are still worldly, behaving like kids” 1 Co 3:1 (JV)
 
The writer mentioned above comes from Theology.Org
I’ve been researching a little to see how much these things are being addressed,
because according to Jesus, James and John, it’s serious business!
 
A member of my family has had an overactive imagination since she was young, and wrecked a marriage and a family with unhealthy thoughts that were troubling her, followed by unkind slanderous words. I could not begin to tell you of all the damage caused by a destructive thought-life and tongue about a perfectly innocent man who is now with Jesus out of it all. He had the forgiveness of Jesus under the most extreme circumstances and kept himself busy living for Jesus and helping others instead of dwelling on offenses.
 
Please guard yourselves against suspicion and letting upsetting thoughts get the better of you. All that could have been spared this priceless brother whose physical health could not take anymore pressure, if she had “nipped things in the bud”. In other words, don’t let disturbing thoughts get out of hand but ask the Holy Spirit to help you deal with them immediately before they grow into something beyond your ability to manage and an apology band-aid can’t fix. I do believe James 3:1-6 is right about “this unruly member being set on fire by the evil one” (abbreviated) Take care you don’t spread grief that way.

A God-fearing prophetic preacher recently said The Lord instructed him to tell us that the enemy’s three major weapons against the Body of Christ are Slander, Gossip and Offenses and that they are the greatest hindrances to our prayers being answered believe it or not!

“Let those who use the Name of The Lord depart from iniquity” I am writing this post because enough is enough!
 
I can personally tell you that the enemy's favorite weapons against my Calling through the years has been unkind words, rash judgements and sharp remarks. Sometimes he would wait until I was really close to someone and then they would turn on me, totally unprecedented , when I was off guard. If any of this describes your experience, I feel for you. And I also want to let you know that it isn't always the person against you, it's something else. When a Christian is Walking in Love on a daily basis, the enemy is much less likely to use them that way.
 
Practice forgiveness dear brother and sister, and you will be the Winner in God's sight.
You do not have to “feel good” about the person who hurt or offended you but we do need to separate the sin from the Christian when they behave like sinners, and recognise the evil one without labelling that Christian.
 
So “how do I forgive them when they behaved so badly or damaged me?”
I asked The Lord once. He said “Consider their misdeeds no-more and cancel their debts.”
It is an Act of Will, that will benefit you instead of making you ill – emotionally or spiritually.
 
Have you ever noticed that one can feel quite “ill” when hearing gossip, unkind words or slanderous remarks? That is because our body has a physical reaction to unhealthy emotions – if they are our own OR someone else’s.
 
According to a Christian Neuroscientist Dr Caroline Leaf, our brain is wired for Love and Joy and Peace. When our thoughts are in harmony with these Godly traits, our brain resembles a tree with beautifully formed branches and pretty green foliage….when we give in to ungodly traits of fear, hate, resentment etc our brain looks the opposite.
 
This would certainly apply to those of us who dish-out or entertain slander, gossip, unforgiveness etc Unhealthy thoughts, words and deeds do affect our body and brain so we do not function at our best. No wonder so many are in need of healing – they are either infected with these traits or affected by them often (through others) it isn’t always diet or lifestyle. Let’s fill our thoughts and those of others with Love, Joy and Peace!
 
Christians should watch their quick tempers too because such things can be so devastating. I call it ‘hit and run’ when someone doesn’t stop to apologise or go back to that person like Jesus told us to. That is not love. You may have said something wrong to someone when stressed and needing rest whatever – you need to ask that person forgiveness, not only The Lord. True prayer leads to repentance. Don't ask The Lord for forgiveness and leave that person hurting or offended – go and do the right thing!
 
Three Important things Not to do:

1) Partake of The Lord's Supper when you have not made amends with the person.
2) Forget what you said or did like nothing happened and go about your daily life.
3) Make yourself unavailable to someone you lost your temper at – that's cruel!
And you can be sure, The Lord will make His Presence unavailable to you.
(the real blessings won't be yours)
 
“WHERE THERE IS UNITY, THE LORD COMMANDS HIS BLESSING”

We all need to practice this!
So “LOVE ONE-ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”
(Jesus did none of those ungodly things when He walked with us,
He was Gentle, Peaceful and Loving).
 
LET'S SEEK TO BUILD EACH-OTHER UP!
 
 
Has this Post Spoken To You?

If you have been behaving in ways you shouldn’t, The Lord sees a repentant heart.
Jesus said these words to a woman, and a man in Scripture
“GO AND SIN NO-MORE”
And if you slip, you need to:
 Confess your sin to a Merciful God
AND
Show Mercy to that person.
 
Be careful to meditate on Scriptures daily
Include the ones you need
and apply them each day.
Meditate on them and ask the Holy Spirit to
soften your heart and strengthen your spirit.
No-one can live this way without His Help
and it is a walk of commitment.
 
Some Christians make the mistake of having
a “holy time” with The Lord and not practicing
this between times – they still say things that offend.
You need to get yourself a good Devotional
and read it daily. Prayer-read the Scriptures
and seek The Lord’s Presence often.
A change will come, if you desire to love
your brothers and sisters.
 
To those who consider themselves spiritual
and do not make amends if they offend
I say “who are you kidding?"
 
THE LORD IS NEAR!
 
 
 
Did this post help you? Let me know.





1 Comment to Is this You or Have You been Affected by It?:

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Melissa on Sunday, 6 August 2017 8:58 AM
Hi Janet, I like this post because it brings to mind some of the shaping of my character into Christian values when I first found Jesus. There had been some gossip at work from time to time and when Jesus came in, the Holy Spirit alerted me not to engage in it by listening. Even though it wasn't nasty, He showed me it was wrong. He also taught me other ways to live a godly life like not reading some women's magazines which had a lot of gossip in them and to choose what I read more carefully. Then I discovered scriptures about wholesome speech a year later and realised He had been leading me. If you ask Him, the Holy Spirit will help you - we can't live a holy life without Him. Better to start later than not. It feels better anyway. Hope this helps.
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