I’ve been musing the last two weeks about a commitment to Christian worldview, to the Gospel, to Jesus himself, that is powerful and passionate. I see more and more clearly that this is what being ‘saved’ really means. But for all its passion, the message by and large needs to be delivered with humility and compassion. Otherwise it doesn’t edify. It doesn’t even land well.
Just yesterday I had a phone conversation with a person who is confused, aggressive, unlistening. As with nearly all conversations with this person, it was unfruitful. Afterwards he texted me, saying that he is praying for me, with my ‘finger-pointing’ style. Initially I shrugged off that response as just more of the same. But then the Holy Spirit nudged me. I texted back, thanking him for his prayers, acknowledging that I needed them.
I said that I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.
Firstly, James 3:1. Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. In other words, if you’re talking the talk, you’d better be wholeheartedly walking the walk yourself. If so, there’s a gentleness and humility about you. I think I’m not terrible at walking my talk, but apparently there’s some growth needed.
Secondly, there’s a spiritual dynamic at work here. My tendency to sound overbearing has a long history, and there have been times when I’ve felt something dark take over my demeanor. I know, I’m brushing against controversy here – in what ways, if any, can a Christian be affected by demons? I’m not about to take up that discussion, but I do believe that I need some prayer to break a spiritual oppression. I will be seeking prayer support for that.
Alright, nuff said on all this. Let’s see what I find for next week.