Put a Sock in It!

I used to smoke cigars. Does that shock you? Didn’t we all do something destructive to ourselves before Jesus cleaned us up? I loved cigars, craved them and relished my time sitting in the garden relaxing with a big fat one! I mean, I really loved my cigars.
I’m free now, free of addiction to nicotine and of destructive behavior. Jesus freed me with His blood, mercy and grace. But what am I afflicted with now? Do I gossip? Do I use my spirituality to hurt others with kind sounding words that actually rip the heart to shreds? Do I reject people because of the way they look or dress or think? Do I fail to love purely like Jesus did? Am I jealous of another’s accomplishments?
Talk with me about what’s on my heart today. I know a person who purports to be a Christian. It’s hard to watch her squander the gifts and talents God has given her. She appears to choose unrepentant evil over freedom. I’ve watched for years as she wrestles with her own pride and false humility. It breaks my heart that freedom is only one short step away, yet she prefers to purposely make elaborate plans to set up and then tear down people. She speaks softly and sweetly yet her words absolutely rip people apart. She could rely on Jesus to elevate her, but chooses to do it herself by throwing others under the bus.  It’s ugly, it’s icky,  and you know you are in the presence of evil.
As the Church, are we guilty of that? I wonder, do we cause people to leave church on Sunday feeling depressed and in bondage? Do we ensnare others with unkind words, condemnation and guilt? Jesus doesn’t reject, He loves. Love covers a multitude of sin. Love conquers all. Yet the world seems to think we Christians are evil. Why do you think that is? We are accused of being judgmental and critical. Now look, I am not saying we cower and submit to political correctness. We have to take a stand against evil. But God tells us to love the sinner and hate the sin.  It doesn’t tell me to convict someone of my idea of sin, the Holy Spirit will do that in truth.  I want to take me out of it.   I’m willing to be persecuted for the gospel. But maybe that means I need to keep my mouth shut about my own personal biases and prejudices, and just love instead. The Bible doesn’t instruct us to beat people up with man made rules.  Maybe that means we are to persecute our own flesh. My motivation must be love, not fear or prejudice. Maybe we all need to ask God if we have an agenda to lay down at His feet. Is our way of thinking wrong in any place at all? If we have a prejudice, we might want to consider asking God to change our wrong thinking. We might take a look at what causes us to form an evil opinion, and get free of that. He is the one who has the plan for our lives, He might just be waiting for us to get on the road to success instead of the detour to misery.
Maybe we just need to press into Jesus instead of our agendas and thinking errors. If you have an evil thought come into your head about someone, who put it there? It wasn’t Jesus! We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Give yourself a break, you have the gift of self-control, so use it. Paul laments the evil of his flesh in Romans. I kind of think it’s part of picking up our cross daily and following Him. We need to die to self, shut down the flesh, and live to the Spirit. We need to seek unity, not division.   We need to seek God’s intended freedom and joy for our lives.
So the next time I want to criticize something or find fault with someone or speak negatively about anything, I think I’ll put a sock in it. I think I’ll seek the Lord for His will and His reaction. I think I’ll claim the scripture that says I have the mind of Christ, and I will just keep quiet. I will pray and seek righteousness and love for every person and every situation, and then speak the life that I hear the Spirit whisper to me.

1 thought on “Put a Sock in It!

  1. Thank you Carol, you are sooo right, It is not easy to walk the good walk when godly people have ungodly behaviors. God’s promise is to see us through to victory, if we stay focused on Him.


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