My Asides! Part I
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Occassionaly, I’m going to use this format to cover areas of our lives as believers that we need to spend some focus on. While it is uncompromisingly important to be able to defend our faith, we tend to ignore certain practices. This goes double for me…if you ever have any questions as to how I will come up with these subjects.
Back to your regularly scheduled show:
When I read an online article that covers an issue of the day, I will skim to the bottom of the page (or thanks to clickbait ads, the middle of the page), to see what people are saying. Inevitably, if I’m reading a religiously charged article, I will see a fellow believer make a comment. Or even worse, a reply to someone else’s comment.
Recently, I watched a religiously charged video on Facebook that had a comment from a skeptic. The skeptic responded that he didn’t understand why we cared so much about this issue if there was no God, as he wasn’t convinced.
So here’s the B Story:
Colossians 4:6 tells us to “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
So I hear this as an excuse to not knowing this verse: “I can’t be able to memorize the entire bible just to cherry pick out one verse.”
You know what? I’ll allow it. So here’s my response:
Titus 2:7-8 – Show yourselves in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occassion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Proverbs 15:1-2 – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
James 1:26 – If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
Proverbs 21:23 – Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Matthew 12:36 – I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak,
You don’t have to memorize the entire bible. Just open a page.
It’s not easy, I know. Half a chapter in James (3:1-12) is devoted to taming the tongue. In fact, verse 8 says, “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” This chapter also echoes something Jesus said in Luke 6:
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (43-45)
Back to the main story…
The very first response to this skeptic gentleman was as such: “Haha, you must be on drugs. LOL.”
The next? “You need to repent right now and believe in Jesus.”
Three times a charm right? “Your heart is sick and you don’t even know it.”
I don’t know where to start on the first one, so I’ll respond to the second one. The lady who said the second comment is actually right. But it will always be unfruitful. The original commentor would have wondered what he needed to repent from. Eating Fruit Loops that morning? Logging in to Facebook? Repent from my sins…what sins? What do you call sin? I’ve never murdered anyone.
Believe in Jesus. Great. You make a good argument. I’ll have one of those salvations you speak of. This gospel you’ve mentioned nothing about with soft, seasoned words you never spoke, has changed my life.
Am I being hard? Yes, absolutely. The truth of the matter is, drive-by bigotry never led anyone to the loving, personal God we claim to know.
The third comment is the exact same. An unsaved world is sick. But telling someone they are lost without showing the salvation, without giving a reason for the hope that you have, nor seasoning your words with salt, is like purposely throwing seeds on pavement.
“So JT, how did you learn to be so perfect in this?”
Uhhh…yeah. My response to those comments? Was also incredibly wrong. I didn’t start by talking about my God. Primarily, I openly criticized my fellow believers. I told the original commentor to ignore them and what they had said. I publicly shot people who are supposedly on my side, in the foot. In a manner everyone could see.
Their responses fell silent.
It should have never been that way.
The best way was modeled by Priscilla and Aquila in Acts 18:26 –
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
They took him aside. They discipled him.
And that’s where we go wrong.
And as always, follow if you follow, like if you like, share if you want others to know whats up…and I’ll see you on the other side!