For as long as I’ve been in ministry type work (35 years now) I have always come across people who in some way think they are in charge, or at least know better than the one they are advising, about what is best for another’s walk in the Lord.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not talking about simple encouragement nor even in correction, rather what I’m speaking about is a viewpoint in feeling the need to do a total overhaul of another brother! That is the wrong type of judging of a brother, and is spoken about in length in Matthew 7:1-14 in the proper way to follow Christ.
Sanctimonious pride is to blame here, not concern, nor even a misunderstanding of sorts. It seems like the more zeal someone exhibits in following Christ, the blinder they become to them being the problem, and I can’t count the numbers of times I’ve seen this exhibited among actual brethren in becoming the biggest obstacle to actually helping another.
My “mentoring Pastor” has passed on now, but in all this time I have never seen those who have improved in their relationship with the Lord, at least to any significant level. Rather, I have seen much more backsliders (even Pastors) than those who continue to grow and move forward.
This is one of the reasons it really gets up my nose, when a young brother thinks he know better than me how to walk with my Lord! A guy like that has seen little to nothing of life, and normally acts in such a fashion as to ingratiate themselves to someone else in their stature, and women are normally worse!
This is why you need mature men of God (Elders) to guide and talk to younger brethren: yet they must also be willing to step into the role of correcting those who have not developed proper understanding because of their immaturity as well, and who are normally unaware that they have not learned enough to counsel others or to point out faults, which they have never overcome, and often refuse to see that, they have never touched upon such struggles within their own flesh.
This is why Matthew Chapter 7 v 1 starts off with removing the tree (or plank) from your own eye, to see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother! There is a reason this passage is written this way, in the order it is written, before it even speaks about your personal walk on the narrow road.
When a leader or (Elder) of sheep fails to point this out, as to not affect people’s feelings, he does a great disservice within the rest of the body. If this type youthful pride is spotted immediately, it is usually easily corrected. Yet if it is not corrected it festers’ in time and becomes infectious.
I know I haven’t the gifting to be effective in this area, and I do not seek a station of leadership for that very reason. Yet pretending you are not in a leaders or Elders in a position when you are acting as such, is much more detrimental to people’s spiritual health and happiness. Usually because those who are actually in authority fail to administer corrective actions in a timely matter, is when events spiral out of control.
I must admit however within most social dynamics that I have experienced, I often become the “whipping boy” till I raise up after I’ve had enough abuse and forcefully have said so. It is sad that I have to force myself to speak up in this manner, but it is an old habit I developed while in the military for most of my adult life, and I have found it is the only effective means oftentimes in correcting a wrong. The only drawback is that oftentimes people are in shock for having to take such measures, and like a dog who will not be corrected they then go over the top. This doesn’t happen with most, but a wounded animal is something else altogether!
Yet the worst part of taking this abuse has been in being advised as a subordinate to forgive, pray for them, and turn the other cheek: while you are being made conformed into Christ’s image.
Essentially, that is indeed correct, and it is hard allowing your flesh to be crucified in this manner, but the bite comes in, when you are singled out as the only one receiving such advice! I suppose it is a backhanded compliments of sorts, in having more expected from you then from another, but the injustice of that really is starting to irritate me after over 30 years of being the whipping boy by others. Still some flesh in me? You bet ya, but there is a fine line in being Christ like, or a door mat who reeks of cowardice.
I could go down a list of names of people I think would qualify as God’s police force, or people who are so damaged that they project onto others the problems they have themselves, but what would be the point? It has no effect rather than to further anger those who are effected.
The bottom line for me is now, I’m an old man, show some respect!
Thanks for reading…