Judgmental Attitudes in the Church

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by Lincolnshire Paul, Apr 3, 2010.

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  1. 21st Century Calvinist

    21st Century Calvinist Puritan Board Junior

    Indeed the more love we have for Christ the more love we will have for others.
    I am particularly thin skinned and take everything personally. Perhaps, less so now than in the past. I remember hearing a great line from Professor Donald Macleod in a sermon years ago: Criticism only hurts when it's true. At the time I disagreed but now I am not so sure.
    Also we do well to try and encourage others and to help them progress in the faith and knowledge of Christ.
     
  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Reminds me of a quote from Piper that I have to keep re-reading:

    AMR
     
  3. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Paul,

    Attend church in spite of your feelings. On Saturday evening prepare your heart for worship and to meet with God. If there are certain individuals that you have problems with, prayerfully consider how you can bless them on the Lord's Day. Do you know anything about these people? Can you pray for needs they have or even meet a need directly? It's an amazing thing when you seek to embrace those who you normally like to keep at arms length. Of course, wisdom is needed, and this may not be possible with severely fractured relationships, but with those who we simply don't see eye to eye, loving them in Christ can meet with marvelous and wonderful results. Another thing you can do is evaluate your expectations. What are you seeking to do on the Lord's Day? Fellowship with the saints is important, but you are primarily there to worship God. Keep that as your focal point. Never lose sight of it. Brighten your countenance. In other words:

    [bible]Psalm 100:4[/bible]

    What I'm trying to do is to get you to look at yourself first. Make sure that your heart is prepared and your mind is set on the worship of God. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ as your would love yourself (Phil. 2:3). This doesn't remedy all relationship problems, but it just might provide you joy and contentment that you seem to be lacking.

    What do you do if you still feel things are not getting better with others? You may need to chat with the person. But before you do, determine whether there is a real problem or if your feelings are based on perception. I have a bit more to say about this at the end of this post. Sometimes our personalities just don't click with another person. There are personalities that are like sandpaper with other personalities. It's just that way. Instead of looking for the other person to change, allow yourself to bend first. Display genuine love and humility towards these people. That's right, condescend to them if you must, but without a condescending attitude. Have the attitude of Christ (Phil. 2:5). You may never become bosom buddies, but you just might develop a new found respect and appreciation for each other. If nothing else, you will be at peace with your brother.

    Now, if there are real issues between you and another brother, say an offense done against you, you may have to talk to this brother. I've saved this one for last because I'm guessing, based on what you've said, that the real problem is one of attitude or perception of attitude. But if there is a real issue involved, the desire for Christian peace, and the love for your brother, require you to speak to him. This, also, is to be done in love, looking first to yourself, making sure you have not given the brother reason to be offended.

    Let me close with this. Personality issues exist and will continue to exist within the church until Christ returns. For all our sanctification there is still ego, hubris, and arrogance that we have to contend with. If we're honest, we don't have far to go to look for the source. That is why we are to examine ourselves first. And when it's not us, when it's the other person; deal with them in love, in the way and manner you would like to be treated.

    Blessings.
     
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