Christian

Discerning Believers Beware

What started out as pleasant conversation ended in hurt feelings, tears, misunderstanding, and a chill between myself and someone I dearly love. Oh, how I wished I could take back my words!

I apologized, but the damage was already done. A heated theological discussion got out of hand and it was my fault. It wasn’t as much what I said, but how I presented it.

My harsh comments about a popular preacher with whom I disagree did more harm than good. My friend was hurt by what I said about someone she liked and learned from. I realized I had approached it all wrong. And now I couldn’t get out of my mess.

The next day, quite by “accident”, I stumbled across something written by Hannah Anderson. Her words stung. I want to share them with you.

Discerning people use their insight to serve those around them . . . They use knowledge to build up and unify – not tear down or create division . . . Sometimes this means having the patience to wait while others think through what you already know . . . Sometimes it means foregoing your preferences for the good of others. Sometimes it might even mean being misunderstood precisely because others can’t yet see what you do . . . They resist the temptation to flaunt knowledge or prove themselves right.”

Hannah Anderson, All That’s Good

All I can say is, “Ouch!”

(Side note: It always amazes me how God will put something I need to know right before my eyes even though I wasn’t looking for it!)

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2 NIV

Yes, God pruned the branches that needed pruning so that I would bear more fruit. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

We must learn what it means to love one another in every form it might take. Even in speaking Truth, we must think of others above ourselves. We must always ask ourselves, “Am I walking in love?”

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 ESV

I think of the Apostle Paul who said,

“Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” 1 Corinthians 8:1 NIV

Am I saying we shouldn’t speak the Truth? Not at all! The Bible teaches us to correct and rebuke.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 NIV

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4 NIV

What I Learned

  1. People who are hungry for God often read lots of books by Bible Teachers and listen to a variety of popular preachers. Be careful in your zeal for Truth not to crush their spirit.
  2. Give careful thought to how you approach a controversial topic.
  3. You don’t have to share everything you know. Sometimes it’s best to stay silent. Build on the Truth you share.
  4. Discussions go best when your opinion is asked for.

May the Lord speak to our hearts and teach us how to interact with one another in love. May we become more like Him everyday, overflowing with humility, gentleness, respect, patience and kindness.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

26 thoughts on “Discerning Believers Beware”

  1. Thank you for sharing this honest post. We all can sometimes be carried away by our zeal for others to know the right thing. And we feel this urgency to press our point right then and there. Good points you mentioned in what you learned.
    Blessings Cindy 😊💙

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Although I am a pretty new Christian, I know exactly what you are talking about Cindy. Sometimes I get so excited I can’t shut up when I should. I like the old saying we have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. God bless you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, well you’re not alone Cindy, I just got pruned too. I will repost this, thank you so much for sharing it. That line where you said about being careful not to crush their spirit really spoke to me. Sometimes out of fear, for the person we care for, we speak a caution but the tone can be all wrong. I’ve been guilty of that too. This is like level two of “What did you expect them to say?” which the Lord said to me many years ago. What is scary is that I see a lot of this in others and I instinctively know it is wrong but I dealt with it the same way they dealt with it. One of my daughters, who is a relatively new Christian, sometimes roams into areas that cause me concern and I’ve mentioned it to her a number of times. She asked me to trust the Shepherd that guides her and me also, and I do, but I still have this need to caution, out of fear, out of concern. This changes the tone of the caution. I will still caution but with different words and a different tone. Then there is self centered pride, which is a whole new kettle of fish, this addresses that too. Wow, this brings tears to my eyes. Who knew what this morning would reveal. Thank you so very much. I’m going to print out those verses you gave and keep them in the front of my Bible. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this with me. And I appreciate the reblog. Your daughter is right, “Trust the Shepherd that guides her.” That is my daily prayer for my loved one. I thank the Lord for all His promises to guide (and there are many). Blessings, Bruce!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post Cindy! We do need to give out the truth, but we need to be careful when and how we give that truth to someone. People are not all at the same place in their Spiritual walk and may not be ready to receive the truth the we already know. I have gone through this myself, even lost some good friends because of it. Words, once spoken, can never be retrieved. Thanks for sharing Cindy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing your heart. There is one thing we know for certain, the bride of Christ is suppose to be unified. The enemy strives to create division and will use anything to achieve that, even things that seem good and right. I’ve heard many good Christians poopoo ideas they couldn’t understand and those people who promote them. Pride can be an ugly thing and we may be surprised to see the truth of these matters when we move into the next life and gain clarity into all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How beautiful that you share the lessons God gives you, even though they hurt. This is a valuable lesson; one we may have to go through ourselves many times, even though we read your warning. Everyone learns in a different way, different timing, different perspective. Another reason we must be attuned and obedient to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I so appreciate your honesty and wisdom. I have some experience with such discussions myself, so I most definitely relate! Speaking truth is important, but the love must always be our motivation, otherwise it’s very likely to derail, as I can ruefully admit I’ve had happen! I find when I trust the timing of those conversations to God, seeking to come from a place of humbleness and prayer, they go so much better. Blessings to you, Cindy, and prayers for continued opportunities to share the love of Christ in your friend’s life.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I appreciate the vulnerability of this post and the conclusions you came to. I love how you present a humble road rather than insisting that yours was the right way, just because your points might have been right. I found a few years ago that I was given a lot more access and trust into people’s lives when I adapted ideas similar to your #3 and #4 into my approach. This is such a helpful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you Cindy! For I am a person who calls a spade a spade but often times hurt others. From your post I have learned that the Word of God expects us to be loving and not to crush others spirits. So helpful

    Liked by 1 person

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