Wednesday, July 21, 2010

All kids argue.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6

"He that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations" -Romans 14:1

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." - Philippians 2:3

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." -John 13:35

I love facebook. I love the interaction between friends and colleagues. I love meeting new people who are part of the body of Christ. I enjoy the conversation, the testimonies, and (surprise to those who know me- wink, wink) the debates. If I have a life verse, as they call it, outside of ACTS 2:38, it would probably be the Proverb that says "As Iron sharpens Iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." In short, put another way, I'll have to begrudgingly admit that- long pause as I gather courage to say it- I enjoy a good argument.

I don't look at it as being hard headed or thinking that I'm always right. My mother, however, used to say that there is a right way, a wrong way, and Mike's way. I guess that means I'm a bit peculiar. I am, in short, opinionated.

I don't mean to come across as a "know it all", at all. I can be a little sure of my opinions, however. To some, this has come across like I think I know it all. Let me be clear- I do NOT know everything. I don't claim to know everything. I will never know everything in this lifetime.

That said, I love to study the word of God and share what God illuminates to me there. Sometimes this sharing has rankled a few feathers of my fellow preachers. Let me say to you all, I'm sorry for upsetting you.

You have your walk with God and I have mine. Some of you and I can agree and get along well. Others of you and I tend to agree to disagree a lot. That's ok, too. We are all at differing levels of understanding of God's word in differing areas of that word. Some of us may know more in one area than others. Others know more in other areas than still others. All of this is ok. We are all God's children and God's kids will argue and disagree from time to time.

The problem comes where we, and I do say WE (me included 4 fingers pointing back at me), get so upset over the others arguments that we go too far. We push so hard to prove a point that we make the other one tend to feel like we think we're better than them, or that they're stupid, or some other such nonsense.

Scripture tells us to esteem each other as being higher than ourselves. I can heartily agree with Paul when he said he was the "least" of the Apostles. We may all be preachers, but many of you have done far more for the kingdom than I've ever dreamed of doing. Truly, I am the least of my brethren.

Scripture also says that we will one day come to a unity of faith. I'm not talking about the basic Bible doctrines like the oneness of God and the plan of salvation. Indeed, we should all have these down pat. It's the other stuff: definitions of holiness, what a Christian can and can't do, who were the sons of God, etc, where we get a little hung up on.

I believe the day of unity in these things will be the day he calls us home and explains it all to us.
I, and all of us, will probably be surprised, both at what we had right and what we had wrong. If we'll just hold on to Jesus- together-, pray with and for each other, show love TO each other, we'll make it. It's the love of God that will show the world that we are God's people, not our scripture quotations or our knowledge.

So, I said all of that to say this: To all those that I have offended in trying to prove a point, to all that I have hurt by the tone of what I said- or the inference of the words- PLEASE FORGIVE ME! It is not my intention to prove to you how great I am! I am nothing! Jesus is everything! For those who are higher up than I on God's food chain, pray for this hard headed preacher to learn to show a little more love!