Tuesday, July 20, 2004

"...fear not, neither be discouraged."

Sometimes we all get down and discouraged. I, myself, am fighting a battle right now. I see things going on around me and it depresses me. Here lately, the littlest things just get under my skin. Let's just say my tolerance level is really low right now!! It is disheartening to hear the careless, unkind remarks that people make to one another. And as if the words aren't bad enough, most of the time there are the petty little childish actions to go along with it. And I have come to the conclusion that most of this junk (and yes it is junk!) could be prevented if we would all just mind our own business! We are always so busy wondering and worrying about what everyone else is doing, and we fail to examine our own lives under such scrutiny. "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matt.7:5 NASB) It never ceases to amaze me that so many people busy themselves trying to run someone else's life when they can't even run their own! Then we get mad because we don't have the power or authority to make things the way WE want them. (NEWSFLASH, people.....things aren't supposed to go OUR way!! It's supposed to go God's way!!) If I think that Sister Sally is drinking, then I need to pray for her. Most of us would rather stake out the liquor store to see if we can "catch her in the act". If I think that Brother Bob is cheating on his wife, I need to pray for him. Most of us would rather ask around to see if anyone else thinks Bob is running around. Thus starts the rumor mill!! If we would spend as much time with our knees to the ground as we do with our ears to the wall, we could get a lot more accomplished! I have to admit, it is easy to get caught up in talking about someone else's business. But unless we are talking to GOD, how do we think anything is going to get fixed?

And for some of us the problem is not what we say ABOUT people, but what we say TO people. In the past week I have heard some of the most hurtful remarks made by one person to another, without so much as the batting of an eye. It is easier than you think to break someone's spirit! So be careful what you say. I firmly believe that some people get a great deal of satisfaction out of hurting others. But remember what the Bible says: "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40 KJV) So before you say something, if it is something you wouldn't say to Jesus, you don't need to say it to anyone. Kind-of like the old saying goes: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Simple but true. You don't know how one little off-hand comment can stay with someone the rest of their lives. Our mouths are the most powerful weapons known to man. Within just a few words lies the power to discourage someone, uplift someone, make someone cry, make someone mad, change someone's point of view, ruin someone's testimony, make someone laugh, ruin someone's relationship, make a friend, lose a friend, or hurt someone forever. How many weapons do you know that have so many different capabilities?? But thank God, His word tells us: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17 KJV) So remember that when you are trying to run someone else down, you are only hurting yourself, especially if that someone is a child of God.

Everyone still makes jokes about the old Rodney King quote "Can't we all just get along?", but truer words have never been spoken. Why is it so hard for us to all just get along? We let satan come into our lives and divide us and form hatred and anger toward one another and then he just sits back and laughs because we take that kind of chaos and run with it. All we need is one little idea planted in our head and we will set out to ruin someone. God doesn't want that. God really does want us "all to just get along". So I want to let you in on another little "secret": if you are angry at someone; if you are talking about someone; if you are being hateful to someone with words and/or actions; these are all things that are from the DEVIL. You are letting satan work through you to try to hinder and hurt God's people. Don't let the devil use you that way.

God wants us to LOVE one another. "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV) Think back a second about your relationship with God over the course of time. Have you ever done anything bad to Him? Have you ever hurt Him? Have you ever done things that He didn't like? Of course! We all have. But he loved us anyway! And what better are we than Him? When someone does something we don't like, we should love them anyway. Because God commanded us to do it. (Another newsflash people, a commandment is just that....a COMMAND...not a request!) See, God has always known the "big picture". We can't always see things the way they should be seen. We think if we are mad at someone and we say something hurtful to them, we are "getting back at them". But situations like that can go awry. Because you may not only hurt the person that you are "getting back at" but countless others that see or hear the situation. You never know whom you may be discouraging or hindering because they are watching you and your actions. Let me use this little analogy to help explain what I am saying: Right now gasoline prices are very high. Have you ever noticed that when gas prices go up, so do prices for other things? This is no coincidence. Gas prices go up....the price of milk goes up. Why? Because the company that produces the milk has to pay more for the gas that goes in their trucks to transport the milk to the stores. The milk company then charges the supermarket more, and the supermarket, in turn, charges you more. See how one thing affects another even if it is indirectly? Our words and actions go by the same chain of events. If I say something hateful to Sister Jane, I have hurt Sister Jane. But what I may not realize is that Brother Jim was standing there overhearing what I was saying to Sister Jane and it discouraged him because he thought I was a better person than that. You just don't know the impact a few little words can have.

And so that is what I have been seeing a lot of lately. People being thoughtless and rude, people tending to other people's business ("Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to." -I Tim. 5:13 NIV), and people just generally uncaring about hurting someone else. I am not mentioning anything that I have not been guilty of myself at times, but I think that we could all use a little self-examination time to look closely at how we treat others.

I might be down about all that, but I am not out. I love that song "Gonna Reach Heaven". In one part it says "It may hinder me, bring me down on my knees, but that's as far as I'll go". And that's the way I feel right now. Sometimes it is good to be brought down, because it makes it a little easier to hit your knees (in prayer). But I know that God can make a way out of no way. And if He can allow me to be brought down, then He alone has the power to lift me back up! But I said all that to say this: don't let satan use you to discourage others. Think about what you say and do. A good rule of thumb is: If in doubt....DON'T! Don't be consumed with your brothers' and sisters' business, but be about the Father's business! Together we can make it! We are the body of Christ, people. We have to work TOGETHER as one. Love one another. Be kind to one another. The road to heaven is not easy as it is. As Christians, we don't need to be trying to make it harder. Besides, "can't we all just get along"? My love goes out to each of you. Please remember me in your prayers that God would uplift and encourage me so that I may be used to show someone else the love of Jesus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You made alot of sense and some very interesting points! If everyone not just thought this way, but really prayed for the people that are having hard times, maybe we would be lifting our brothers & sisters up instead them feeling like they are being kicked while they are down. Words can hurt a person; so we all need to be careful what we say; it's better to have a millstone cast around your neck and thrown to sea than to offend one of God's children. I just pray that we can be an encouragement to one another, it's a rough road, but with God by our side, nothing is impossible!!!