Thursday, September 17, 2009

TICKED

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.

8 comments:

Us said...

Michawn, I COMPLETELY agree. I have seen ALOT first hand on different subjects and I know that showing love does NOT invlove ignoring, cutting ties or treating poorly. Matthew's memory verse last week was "In everything you do, do to others as you would have them do to you" Matthew 19:14 This weeks I also love "This is how we know Christs love for us that he laid down his life" I John 3:16 To be like Christ means to lay down your life and to follow him. Would Christ have you ignore sin? Would Christ have you treat others the way we often do? Amazing how as adults we forget that part of loving others. I could ramble on forever on a few tangents here. Anyway, I have a REALLY good friend who has stood by me and we have been so completely honest and I can say hands down she is one of the first people to ACTUALLY show me God's love in action through standing by me, being there and being honest. The funny thing is she had quit going to church for several yrs until just recently. I get very angry thinking about how far we (including myself) are from tuly being Jesus to eachother as Christians and to those who do not know Him. There is major dysfunctionality within the entire Family of God as well as within our own individual families. Honestly we have been to church 3 times in the past yr. Very sad, but I just can not bring myself to go through it all again. We know we HAVE to for our children...but I (imparticular) am SOOOOO turned off by it.

Sorry for rambling....very nice post and very truthful.

Amy said...

YOU GO GIRL! I agree, wholeheartedly. I just recently experienced a situation where an extremely gentle reminder was NOT taken gracefully - and this from one who had called me out in the past. I just feel that a lot of this has to do with the end times and as Jesus said, many will say, "But Lord, we did these things in your name," and He will answer, "Depart, I do not know you." (paraphrasing, not reciting!)

Shiloh said...

Amen sista, but let me say "freakin" used to describle the Bible? hmmm Maybe another adjective would have been better.
Noting, that I totally agree with what you are saying. I do have to say that I am less teachable than I wish I were. I'm learning though. I do want to be challenged. Lord help me be more so. :) In Christ alone. Shiloh

Holly said...

You're talkin' about ME, aren't you, AREN'T YOU? :)

Just teasin'. :)

I think the thing is - is that we *aren't* close enough to each other to speak the truth. For me - I am honest with those I am close to but wouldn't just confront some girl in the church that I don't know or that I haven't worked to establish relationship with. I'm actually tempted to just jump in and confront some of the girls in my kid's youth group - trust me on that one - but realize that I haven't built any foundation to do that. So, when frustrated or even when seeing that they need gentle correction - I get my hiney in gear and work to build that foundation so that they will listen to me when I talk to them.

You know what I think is interesting? The higher up someone gets in ministry or in the church, the LESS likely someone is to confront them or hold them accountable. I've always wondered about that. Why is that? Do we think they become immune or something? Do we put them on a pedestal where we assume they will never need correction? If so, that's false. Everyone needs accountability. I do. I may not like it, but I need it.

That's one thing I so appreciate about you, Michawn. You're just an honest girl and you can handle people being honest with you right back. You aren't easily offended, you want to please the Lord and so really think about every situation. You ask and research. And you listen - both to others and to God.

I *think* you had a specific situation in mind, so my comment may be really off base. Just wanted to say hello, and...throw in a few cents. :)

on an adventure said...

I am definitely one who is afraid, and you are right it's selfish. It's easy for me to tell all the younger peeps in our youth group that they shouldn't be doing something (not that they ever listen to me anyway), but it's totally hard to confront sin in the life of my peers. In fact, I admitted to you about just such a situation in which I kept silent instead of speaking up to some old friends about sin sometime this year. I used many excuses, one of which is that we were no longer within their church fellowship. Bla. Wish I could say I'll do the right thing, but I can say I'll pray about it.

Wendy said...

No, she is definitely talkin' about me!!! AND I'm glad I am not the only one who rants:)

Ok, here goes:
I have a family member with HUGE issues! A Christian(knows right from wrong) a new single mother. I took the stance to support her since our family did not. Now, instead of making the best of her situation, she is wallowing in it. She and her baby daddy moved into her mother's house and is now shacking there! To top it off, her father just left her mother after 30yrs of marriage.(This happened before the shackin) She believes she is there "helping" her mom. I haven't confronted her. I will be the "holier than thou" bitch if I do. I agree with what you said Michawn but how do I talk to her in love. I have no back up to reinforce this to her. Her church is reaching out to her fragile mother that lost her husband,dignity, and has a new family living under her roof.
The only thing I know to do is just do it and risk my relationship with at least half of my family. Selfish? possibly. HELP!

ann said...

I have read through your post and do not really understand what has gotten you so angry...so angry that you defile the Bible by calling it freakin'. Jesus whole life was spent as a living example of Love...a love so great that he gave his life that ALL can be saved. Note that he did not exclude any group as long as they believe in him and turn to him so as to be with God in heaven. He does not exclude anyone...and even on the cross, he was an amazing example of how we should live and give. Jesus won over people not through rebuke but through pure consistent love and kindness to all of the worst people ...the people in the greatest need of his saving grace. He did not hang out with the religious crowd and look down on people, he got out there and by example and by parable, gently got the message across of Gods love and mercy and he showed everyone by example how we should be to ALL around us; When I first changed jobs, I could not believe what I was hearing in a Christian work place that has the motto "to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ" but rather than just saying what I thought about it, I strived very hard to set a very good example of appropriate language and behaviors and have prayed continually for the compassion and love for the poor and the wretched that Jesus had..and in the past 2 years, slowly but surely, the cursing has almost completely stopped, without me saying one negative word and we have had some very enlightening religious discussions too. I know this is an opposite perspective from yours, but many many times, your actions speak much louder than your words and can mean far far more to someone than a spoken word. May God bless you with the maturity of an old lady and the heart of a child and the wisdom you need to be the person you want to be. (now for my little bit of correction...no naked pictures of your kids on line please...for their sakes and to keep the perverted people from looking at them too.) I don't know what is eating you right now but I will say special prayers for you and your mission work.

Ali said...

I pray God will help me be more teachable! Thanks for sharing your heart!

~ Ali