Takes A Beating!
22 December 2015
Reading: James 4; Psalm 146
11 Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. 12 God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others? (James 4:11-12 MSG)
Gossip, criticism, jealousy-prompted bad-mouthing of others, belittling comments, demeaning talk, derogatory statements… Is it really that big a deal? God’s Word, the Gospel, and the everlasting Kingdom of God all take a beating when we talk like that!
I’m beginning to suspect something that’s kind of scary—it kind of jerks the slack out of me when I think about it! If God loves me as his child, his beloved, unconditionally accepted child, then he loves each of his other kids in exactly the same way—completely and unconditionally. This includes people I disagree with and disapprove of. This includes people I don’t like and people who don’t like me!
Let me say this again, slowly and clearly! God loves people you and I don’t like! God loves people who don’t like you and me!
So here’s what I’m beginning to suspect: It’s possible, even likely, that the most disharmonious thing I can do is to wish ill toward someone God wishes well—to bad-mouth someone God loves.
If this is true, and I am becoming deeply convinced that it is true, then it will, it must affect my values, my attitudes, and my speech for as long as I live.
How about you? Are you becoming deeply and unalterably convinced that God loves you personally and unconditionally? How is that affecting your attitude and behavior toward all those others around you for whom God’s love is just as personal and unconditional? It’s worth some thought! And even more worth a change of behavior!
Father, Please forgive me for sometimes bringing disharmony to the symphony of grace that is your Kingdom Song. I am glimpsing a deep truth. Don’t let me miss this. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord. Amen.