Something interesting happened to me the other day. I overheard two people talking about someone in the church. It wasn’t very complimentary, and I was saddened by their conversation. Things became even tougher for me, when I realised that they were talking about me!
My first reaction was to intervene and try to justify myself. Then I thought, ‘Hang on, calm down, the time will come when I will be able to explain everything and things will be back to normal.’
So, instead, I carried on as if I had heard nothing. In fact, as I turned my heart to the Lord I realised that I was accountable to Him, and to Him alone. My first responsibility in the situation was to keep my heart clear, and to make sure that I was putting the Lord first in everything in my life.
I realise that the longer I serve the Lord, the more subtle the attacks of the enemy become. He will use every ruse and devious scheme to undermine our faith and confidence in the Lord. An attack against our character will stir our pride and self worth, and cause us to slide down the road of doubt and unbelief. As we read in the Psalms, he is the master hunter who cunningly uses the snares of life to trap us, and steal from us what the Lord has so freely given.
In many countries in Africa, be very careful when you lift up a rock or log lying in the bush. Often, it can be the hiding place of a snake or scorpion. I know of several stories where people have nearly lost life or limb from being careless in this regard.
Having been involved in Church life for many years, I long ago came to the realisation that there is a carnal side of humanity to be found in every believer. We are neither saints nor angels! I am not surprised at what happened in the life of Christians in the church. The most sincere and dedicated people you meet can have aspects of their character that are completely untouched by the holiness of God and will often rise up in the least expected times and places.
It’s no different in the church. We are all people under construction. The Lord is at work in us to restore and heal our character and to reveal the nature of Christ in us. It’s not an event, but a life long process. It’s the work of the Cross in our lives: death to the flesh and life in the Spirit.
So, I don’t know whom you are listening to, or what you are facing. It may be tough and even unpleasant, but from this experience you will have the opportunity of seeing the Lord at work, and experience the presence of His Grace in your life. Maybe there are other people involved who you think should be corrected or put in their place. I want to encourage you to accept what the Lord has for you in the situation and rejoice in His love.
Well, that’s the way I see it!