Is anyone accountable for their actions in this day and age? If not, most of us do not usually mind helping in letting them know, or everyone else know, what they did wrong and what should be done about it. Why is it so easy for us to see the wrongs and faults of others, rather than our own, and not see the wrongs of the ones we love or think highly of? An old saying, says “love is blind.” It seems our love for others, and own self-love, can surely be at the root. Self-righteousness also can truly be an integral part of this type of mess.
What is a critical spirit? Is it one that is merely critical of others or is it that attitude, coupled with self-righteousness? As humans, we seem to have two modes, true humility or self-righteousness. Another old saying says that when we have one finger pointing out, we have three pointing back toward ourselves. Why are we so willing to receive God’s grace, but at times, not willing to give grace to others? Could we ever do each other more wrong, than what we each have done to God? I cannot imagine all the sins of my life compiled and then added to Jesus’ suffering. And He forgave me before I ever repented and even while I was so hard-hearted toward Him.
Every born-again Christian has a huge choice to constantly make. To walk according to the carnal nature or according to the new, born-again, godly nature. Only when the born-again spirit rules over the fallen carnal nature, are we walking correctly. That carnal nature, is the nature of the devil. Many people, including within the church, believe we are still born in the godly image of God. I do not believe that at all. I believe Adam and Eve were created in the godly image of the Lord, but when they chose to sin, their good and pure nature died and they took upon the fallen nature of the enemy. As their offspring, we have all been born with a fallen nature. When we believe upon and yield to Christ, repent and turn from our wicked ways, we become born-again and the Lord takes us from darkness into the light. We no longer want to be slaves of sin, but sons of righteousness. Our spirits become born-again with the godly nature, but we still live in bodies with the fallen nature.
It is the fallen nature, that desires to be impatient and self-righteous while criticizing others. The nature of Christ is the opposite, it deals with the wrongs of others, but from a place of love, grace and humility.
When we choose the way of Christ, we are helping the kingdom of God. When we choose the way of the flesh, we are helping the kingdom of darkness. When I catch myself, “playing the blame game,” I stop and say to myself, do I really want to be part of the devil’s team?
The Lord said to the woman that He helped keep from being stoned, that He did not condemn her and to go and sin no more.
Jesus said He did not come to condemn us. If the Lord Himself did not, then who are we to do it to each other?
The Lord said we were condemned already. Only when we come to Him, do we escape eternal condemnation.
Who is the condemner? Who is the blamer of all of us? Our own actions condemn us and the devil is our great accuser.
Once again, we all have that ugly side of us within the carnal nature. And when we succumb to it, we are aiding and abetting the enemy. We can do better. We can be the ambassadors of Christ. We can build others up instead of tear them down.
1 Peter 4:8, is taken from an Old Testament verse found in Proverbs which says, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12). If we take a closer look at the verse in Proverbs and consider the verse before it, we can glean more. For study sake, here it is in the BBE version.
The “love chapter” in 1 Corinthians has much to say about “agape love” which is true love. This is the kind of love God is and has for us. It is the kind of love He wants us to have for each other.
As Christ is the head of His body, we as His church, are to follow the Head. That is what a body does. The Lord has shown us the way by how He lived, taught us with the truth of His Word and sent His Holy Spirit to live within us, to empower us to be able to accomplish His commands and directions.
One day, I was judging someone’s salvation in which I was saying that I believed that there was no way they were a Christian, and I believed they were hell-bound. Merciful sakes, I was quiet just enough to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. I felt like the Lord asked me who I was to make that determination. A whole download of conviction and humility came with that admonishment/correction from the Holy Spirit. We must be careful how we believe in our hearts and speak with our mouths about such matters. We are not God and we do not even know for sure what He will do with us. Where in the Bible does it give us the right to make eternal judgments about each other? It does not. We can carefully make judgments about situations we face in life, without judging each other like we are God. This is terribly important. The measure we judge by, is the measure we will receive.
Not only are we exhorted to speak in ways that build up instead of tear down, but we are to forgive each other. We are to share grace, as we have been given grace from the Lord.
We are even supposed to at times, confess our sins one to another. How can we do so, if we have to be in fear of the reproach of others?
As Christians, we all tend to drift off the right path sometimes. Sometimes we even go too far. But the important thing is to get back on the path. The Lord is closer than our breath. When we repent, He is quick to forgive. Thank You Lord that You never leave or forsake us. May we always be faithful to You and never forsake You either.
Eli Cockrell and Carmen Pușcaș share thoughts about the end times and life as a Christian in the world we live in today.