Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Timely Word...

"Also do not take to heart everything you hear people say..." Ecclesiastes 7:21

This word was timely in that earlier this week, I discovered that someone was harshly criticizing me without my knowledge. I understand that these things are going to happen and I should expect them to happen. I simply wonder what it is that possesses Christian men and women, or at least men and women who claim to be Christians, to talk about another brother or sister behind their backs and share intimate concerns about relationships without the accused's knowledge.

This bugs me on several levels; it goes against the grain of Christian love. If you truly love someone as Christ teaches that you ought to love, then it stands to reason that you would care enough that IF you have a concern about someone you will share it with that person and not trumpet your concerns to everyone BUT that person.

It also goes against the grain of Christian character. We should be bold enough with our brethren that if we have a trouble, then we should have the resolve to share it with them. Christians are not cowards--we have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that leads, guides, and directs our intentions, and He can make known when an accusation is brought in Christlike love and compassion.

It also goes against the grain of Christian friendship and brotherhood. As Christians we are bound together by a strong cord of mutual faith in Jesus that should lead us to respect one another despite differences, regardless of how strong they may be.

As I was reading this morning, this verse struck me as a word from the Lord. I know I should give the accuser the benefit of the doubt. I did receive the accusation from a third party, a party that I do not know that I can altogether trust. However, when such accusations come, and because of my persona, I generally have a very hard time dealing with them, and I tend to take things to heart (hence the significance of the above verse). I let them affect my mood, my work, my walk, and ultimately my family.

Lord, give me the grace to overcome these pressures, and to extend grace to those who are unfair toward me.


Les Puryear said...


Spurgeon had some good advice for these times. Check it out at


Tony said...

Good read, Les. Thanks.

Bernard Shuford said...

Being gracious is hard in a lot of cases. I have recently found myself to be very upset about some things that I really should deal with much more maturely than I have done. Folks who are genuinely not fulfilling their responsibilities. I find it entirely too easy to criticize them to someone else rather than confronting them because I'm not big on verbal battles. I know that relationships are often destroyed by these kinds of things. Yet, as a leader, the issues have to be confronted.

I sometimes simply cannot imagine what must be going on inside the head of other folks, and I mean that in a very loving way.

And then I realize that they are probably just as baffled about me as I am about them.

Good post :)

Tony said...

I'm often in the same precarious predicament. As badly as I want to get in the flesh at times and say what is REALLY on my mind, I know I must let the spiritual side win out, and be an example by not returning evil for evil. Most people EXPECT you to respond harshly in return and working on not responding in kind has been difficult. It isn't my natural bent.

And being a "leader" makes the situation that much more tenuous because then IF I respond in kind, I just load the rifle with ammunition. It seems their behavior is completely justified while mine is rather childish and silly.

Anyway, sorry it took me a while to respond. For some reason I'm not getting emails from Blogger. I checked my settings and they're correct. So, who knows...

Anda said...

Ah, yes -- reminds me of Aesop's fable about the man, the boy, and the donkey. If that person had something to say about you and was too cowardly to confront you, he means only to stir up trouble. Just be your charming self and ignore it.

(Yes -- so easy to say this 6o someone else!)

selahV said...

Tony, It's a pain to have someone dump on you this way. But it's a great opportunity for you that this person has done this behind your back and you've found out without their knowledge. Now you can be super kind to this person (who obviously needs more of your kindness and attention, or they wouldn't feel it necessary to judge you to another).
Invite them to dinner at your house. Feed know the rest. Praying for your heart. I hate it when mine gets poked. Blessings. selahV

Tony said...


Welcome to the blog! I'm glad to have you comment.

My disposition won't let me ignore such trifle and I am sincerely working on that. I let too many things like this work me over...but I AM working on it!

Mrs. V,

It is a pain. I have already showered this person with kindness. prayerfully heaping coals upon his head. I know he thinks I'm not supposed to know of his criticism, but I know best now how to carry myself. Thanks for your prayers!