I actually typed the other word and actually prefer the other word, but thought it might be too offensive to some. Just know that that word is the more appropriate for this topic though. I'm a little...oh, irritated to say the least.
You know how sometimes you just get so mad about something that you can NOT stay silent? My time has come. It's been building for literally years and I just can NOT not write about it here. It's time.
Sidenote: LKJ, I want you to know that this was not at all sparked by our conversation a while back. I totally know your point of view and respect that and please just know that this is not an attack on you and/or your viewpoint. And, in fact, in some ways this is totally a different subject anyway. But, I just wanted to make it clear...not at all directed toward you. I have no interest in re-hashing our discussion. Believe me. I speak truth. We friends! ;)
Sidenote #2: This post has nothing to do with my horrible day yesterday (Facebook status updates)...I will explain that at another time.
Now...on with the post...
Over the years I've seen many a person screw up (including me of course). Everyone does that, right? O.K. Now that that's established. This is not some self-righteous rant. Although, it will be taken as such I'm quite sure, by those who are so very touchy (part of the problem of our day). Here goes...
What the heck happened to accountability? What happened to people FREAKIN' CARING ENOUGH to call someone out on their behavior and do something about it?!?!?!?!? People are so very NON-teachable these days...they get so freakin' defensive. It's basically impossible to do that with anyone...call them out on their behavior. Not that it still shouldn't be or can't be done, but more than likely that person will get so 'offended' that the relationship will be broken or at the very least, damaged. Uggghhhh!! AND...it matters not how loving and patient and sweet and merciful you are when you present this loving rebuke (and a rebuke can be loving), the rebukee is still offended and defensive. What the heck?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Let me be quite upfront. Of course I am talking to Christians here in this post. In my own experience, non-Christians have FAR less of a problem with this anyway. Yeah...way to go Christians...way to be salt and light and set apart and examples to the world! Good job!! (insert a roll of the eyes)
Let me again also re-iterate that no, as some of you may be thinking (in your very defensive state), I know I am not perfect. I am not without sin. Come on...not what this is about. Again...not at all trying to be self-righteous.
BUT...I've seen it happen over and over. People doing the wrong things...and continuing to do the wrong things...either because nobody had the anatomy enough to bring it to their attention, or because they refused to listen to whoever may have actually tried.
And because they continue to make these same wrong decisions and because NOBODY calls them out on it, their lives are destroyed. Not only their lives, but the lives of all the people that their wrong choices have affected (because it NEVER happens that only the one person is affected!!) are also severely altered...and not in a good way!
I'm SOOOO sick of this! See it all the time. And I'm ticked. And I have no doubt that Jesus is 'turning over some tables' about this too!!
Here's the thing, people...are we not a family? Don't family members care enough about each other to speak up and say something whenever they see destructive behavior?
Or, is that the problem? We as families are so very dysfunctional now, we don't talk to each other. We're 'afraid' of each other. Even if we do see something that is not right, we are too scared of conflict or, God forbid, 'hurting' them (hello...what about that stinkin' destructive behavior they are involved in?!?...that's not going to hurt them?!?) to say anything to them. People, let me just say that that is COMPLETELY SELFISH!!!! Do you hear me?!? You are only thinking about yourself...you don't want the discomfort of possibly causing momentary conflict. You are fine with talking about it with others and grumbling and complaining about their behavior to others, but no...you can't risk actually talking to the person yourself.
And so it goes...we've become so isolated in our own families...and nobody can say anything to anybody because, well, 'who are you to say this...you aren't perfect either.' Hmmm...ok. Not really the point, but whatever. And if one single solitary person does have the gumption to actually lovingly try to steer their loved one in a better direction, even if others agree with that single solitary person, they don't lend any support. And therefore, the single solitary person's views, however beneficial for the loved one, is seen as not valid. Others may have the same views, but don't speak up. And so...the loved one continues on the path of destruction. And everyone around them is unfortunately drug along with them.
Here's the thing...CHRISTIANS, WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm not sure which happened first...did the church become so dysfunctional because the families became that way or did the families become dysfunctional because the church was that way? But, the truth is that we really can't waste time in pondering that and blaming one or the other. We just need to fix it!
Families...loved ones...really start to care for each other more than you care for your reputation or your comfort, and don't just leave your special ones to destroy themselves.
Pastors, youth pastors, church leaders...start to study healthy confrontation and what the Bible says that you as a church family are supposed to do concerning TAKING CARE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. I KNOW what the Bible says and it does NOT say that we are supposed to just let them make their own desicions and their own mistakes..."it's none of our business." NOT what the Word says...not what Jesus wants.
Oh thank God (!!!!) I have some awesome friends who care enough about me to call me out on my junk...and call me out they do! Thank. God. Oh how grateful I am to have some friends of iron to sharpen my iron. I LOVE being accountable and not walking alone. That means I have to make sure that I am in a constant state of being teachable, but let me tell you...it's so much easier and better than walking alone.
God has a very specific design for relationships (ANY relationships, whether it be biological family members or our church family members). It does not involve 'leaving each other alone.' Huge problem.
What if we actually cared about each other?
AND...what if we were actually taught to see others' rebuking words as kind and loving? What if, dare I say it, we were humble and teachable? What if we followed words like "He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding" (Prov. 15:32) or "A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise" (Prov. 15:12) or "To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction" (Prov. 12:1) or "If you reject criticism, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding" (Prov. 15:32).
This 'judge not, lest you be judged' thing is SOOOO blown out of proportion. But, that is the motto of the day. There's so much more to the Bible than Matthew 7:1-5. And...even there it says that first you need to deal with the log in your own eye, but then, yes...by all means, help get the speck out of your friend's eye, for the love of God (literally)!
The church today needs a major overhaul...MAJOR. Many would say there are many things that need to be fixed, but this must be ranked up in the top of the list...otherwise we will never be functional (only dysfunctional...and how does that help win others over?...no, not that we are perfect, but we should at least be a little different, for heaven's sake!...we are being not at ALL different...which is not exactly what God called us to). Without truly loving each other, we will continue in our destructive ways. "Leaving people alone" in their sin is not loving. It is not kind. It is as if you hate that person...esp. if you add on to that talking about that person to other people about the things that he/she should be doing instead of going to that person personally. Hate I tell you.
We need a major revision. We MUST learn Matthew 18. If we'd only learn the very first part of this (going to the person one-on-one), so much reform in our churches would happen. But, as I said before, so many times the one-on-one approach doesn't work. The wrongful loved one is not convinced of wrongdoing by just one person's voice in the matter. The 2nd step is needed. Oftentimes this does it. If not, church discipline (which is basically non-existent at this point in time).
Oh people, study your freakin' Bible. This living like the world crap has got to go!
If this was too straightforward for you coming from me, just pretend like I'm a really old lady or you can pretend like I'm someone who has recently lost a child. Unfortunately, these two categories of people are among the very few who have some kind of 'entitlement' to speak the truth. Sad.