Thursday, January 14, 2010

Confessions of a Broken Christian

I'm broken.  I'm sad and I'm angry.  I've been praying about how to handle all the emotions I'm feeling inside as I read about and look at pictures of the tragedy in Haiti.  It's truly overwhelming.  I am heavily burdened about these people and what they are going through right now.  I suppose that is why I got so defensive when I heard about a leader in the Evangelical Christian community that spoke up yesterday to the media and declared that what is happening in Haiti is a result of their pact with the devil.

Immediately, I posted something on my Facebook (I will admit, I didn't pray about it first - it was a knee-jerk reaction that stemmed from emotion) about how just because I'm a believer in Jesus does not mean I agree with him and how I felt he was wrong.  I know I did this because I'm painfully aware that there are so many people that are just waiting for the Christian community to mess up so they can justify they are right in assuming we are all judgmental and condemning.  As a believer, it seems I'm constantly having to fight against this stereotype - especially when the media seems to hone in on the failures or quotes of people that seem to go against the very message of forgiveness and grace that Christ offers. 

Today after my quiet time, I took down my message on Facebook.  Not because I agree with what the leader said, but because I was wrong and honestly I was convicted.  I was wrong to try to defend myself and my beliefs. Why should I have to defend with words when the Lord is clear that my works are what prove Christianity to be true?  Jesus said in Luke 7:35 "Wisdom is proved to be right by the lives of those who follow it."  My life needs to speak, not my mouth.  Oh, when will I get this?!  When Jesus was confronted, He didn't speak.  He kept quiet because He knew no matter what He said, He would be attacked.  He knew the Truth and He lived the Truth and that was all that mattered.

When I come up against this fellow-believer publicly and become angry and defensive, it just divides, it doesn't unify.  I was very wrong in doing this.  If I have a problem with him, I should have gone to him privately according to Matthew 18.  Christ is so clear that He wants unity in the body of Christ - that is why it was one of His last prayers to God in John 17 before He went to the cross.  Instead of focusing on what this other believer said that bothered me, I believe I should instead pray for him and show him grace - the same grace that was extended to me by God.  And instead of drawing attention to what he said, I should be focusing on what I can do to help these people in Haiti.

God tells me that He is my Defender.  I do not have to defend myself or my faith - He can do that just fine without my help.  He tells me to love, to serve and to give - not to judge and condemn.  So today...I'm choosing the better way.  Please accept my apologies if my remarks on Facebook offended you.  I believe I spoke out of turn and definitely without wisdom - especially as a leader in the Christian community. I'm so very sorry.  God is not finished with me yet - I'm still in a process just like everyone else!  Yes, I am broken but God is slowly putting me back together.   I'm so sad that the focus of so many has now turned to crucifying this leader (who, by the way, has done some amazing things for God in his life) and not to the real issue - what can we do to help Haiti?  May God bless and keep them all - and may we be unified in purpose to live out what we say we believe.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 21:23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.

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