This past Sunday I heard the most interesting,convicting,delightful sermon on this very subject.
I've been meaning to share my thoughts,and notes on it,but alas life does get busy.
Our Pastor has been doing and in depth study on a victorious Christian life.
Particularly victory over sin.
And this past sermon was directed at self righteousness.
You know that verse that talks about restoring brethren that have been caught in sin?
(I can feel the hackles being raised by everyone who reads this as this is a VERY controversial subject in the Christian world) :)
The thing is not many people take this verse in context.
The verses before talk of walking in the Spirit, not being desirous of vain glory,provoking one another, and envying each other .
And the verse after tells us to bear one another's burdens.
So obviously Christians are supposed to encourage, uplift, and pray for their brethren.
I know that's what I think of when I need someone to help me bear my burdens.
Pastor told of a man he talked with once.
His life had fallen to ruin and he had gone searching for help in the wrong places.
After simply telling the man "I'm here if you need me and I'll be praying " he was advised that he should have turned the man away, and told him " it's your own fault. "
Here's the thing we all mess up.
We all do stupid things ,and we already know it's our stupid choices that lead to hard consequence.
How much restoration would it be if we ignored those that plead for help.
How many burdens would we bear if we used the old "you made your bed ,now you can lie in it " phrase?
How encouraging would we be if we constantly threw mistakes in people's faces?
How many fruits of the Spirit would we be showing if we held them at arms length afraid of being contaminated by their sin?
How encouraging would we be if our tongues lashed out with hurtful words,but we're claiming "we're just being honest ".
(I think we like to use the above phrase as an excuse to say things we know deep down aren't right. )
This is important stuff .
Because somewhere a girl is afraid and feeling like she has no choice but to kill her baby; waiting for a good Samaritan to walk by and pick her up,and carry her to Jesus.
And a young man doesn't know the love of a father,because his was never there,so why should he take any responsibility for the ones he's helped conceive?
And sitting in the pew in front is someone sick of the hypocritical "Christian " parents he has who show one face at home,and the opposite at church and in public : he can't wait to leave and never return.
And a couple wonders if their marriage problems will somehow be discovered by the good people of the church. Being afraid of lofty glances and remarks they never heal,never get help,and eventually their union crumples.
A daughter's family is forbidden to even eat with her by their church because of the choices she has made. It hurts,and wounds her,more than compels her to the fold.
(And if I'm not mistaken Jesus was reprimanded by the so called righteous people for eating with the publicans and sinners.)
Often we learn this lesson of loving like Jesus ,only after we have felt the wounds of self righteousness.
Or after we have been the ones inflicting these wounds,of which I was an expert.
The thing is? God came "to seek and to save that which is lost ".....
In some ways I believe that can apply to Christians.
God can't heal our bitterness if we don't acknowledge it and let Him.
He can't teach us how to love people like He does if we hold people at arms length .
He can't forgive us if we don't forgive others. < tough one.
And how are we supposed to know the Father's unconditional love if we love others conditionally?
:these are my thoughts and notes from Sunday's sermon. Please,no negative comments. This is simply how I believe,and I wanted to share it: