He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:4 NIV
Do you learn from other people’s mistakes? Or, do you prefer to learn the hard way? Me, I don’t want to get knocked down blind on some dusty road somewhere.
Saul tried to destroy the newborn church by killing Christians. It’s easy to understand why the world hates the Church, but why do some within the church try to tear it down with gossip?
Maybe they’re right about some issues, but they’re very wrong in their methods.
Saul was persecuting the church, but Jesus asked, “Why Me?” The church is His bride, as in “the two shall become one”. Whether you badmouth the church at large or a particular congregation, you’re persecuting Him.
Our congregation has suffered a split recently. Differences of opinion, hurt and angry feelings, disgruntled folks lashing out, talking about each other behind each other’s backs, taking their ball and heading out to find another church home.
Then the rumors and accusations started. “The reason there are only 20 people going here anymore is that the pastor and associate pastor were running them off so they could take control of the building fund money. Only, it’s mainly the associate pastor because the old pastor has Alzheimer’s, and that’s why he isn’t preaching much now.”
None of the above is true. Our pastors and elders and deacons shepherd us with love. We have far more than 20 members, and are growing. The building fund is sitting there safe. The pastor, though wearied by all the strife, is still sharp and preaches almost every Sunday. Add to that, there’s a much more peaceful spirit among us without all the backbiters.
Think before you speak. Are those words meant to build up or to tear down? If you’re cutting down any part of His church, you’re thumbing your nose at that perfect blood He shed for all us imperfect humans.
Avi, we are Your body, Your brothers, Your children. You prayed for our unity, then You died to give birth to Your church. Make us one in love. Show the world through us that You are the God of life, the truth they ache for. In Your holy name, Amen.