Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"The Message You'll Never Read"

     I sat down and wrote a message yesterday that, upon reflection, I realized to be little more than a rant.  Thus, I have chosen not to foist upon you that which fails to meet the test of Biblical communication and ministry.

    "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).

    Let me say that I believe the thoughts I expressed in the essay to be true, and I'm confident of my analysis and interpretation.  Moreover, I believe that Christians must express the bad along with the good if we are to faithfully declare the truth.  The Bible does not fail to expose and warn, and we do ourselves and each other no favors by ignoring the present darkness in which we live as "the children of light" (I Thessalonians 5:5).  The Apostle Paul declared his ministry to involve "warning every man" in the clear determination of love that lets people know when the path ahead leads to danger and destruction (Colossians 1:28).

    The problem involved attitude and intention.  Again, upon reflection I realize that I climbed upon a soapbox for the purpose of expressing personal distaste and even disgust rather than seeking to edify.  I can assure you that no grace would have been ministered by the words I wrote, but rather a grating snarl with which I suspect you'd agree, but which would have dragged you down into the gully into which I descended for awhile.  I wrote angry, as it were, which violates the corollary rule by which I seek to minister, namely, that I attempt never to "preach angry."  I've never found that to accomplish anything more than a personal catharsis and venting that may cause me to feel better, but which provides little benefit to hearers.  Again, there's certainly much in this present world that elicits a proper and righteous indignation.  Preaching, teaching, and writing from such an emotional sensibility, however, rarely ministers the genuine grace and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

   So, you won't have to read about the sad fact that they've changed the chocolate on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!!!!  :):)   Actually, that's not the issue I addressed in the message you'll never read.  No, I simply write to confess a wayward path I traveled for awhile yesterday, a detour upon which I almost invited you to journey with me.  I might also suggest that Paul's admonition to "let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth" provides a vital warning sign to erect in our hearts and minds regarding the sharing of our perspectives.  I barged through the barrier myself in a rant rather than a ministering of grace.  I'm glad the Lord kept me from taking you along.

"Grievous words stir up anger."
(Proverbs 15:1)
"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
(II Timothy 1:15)


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