As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

— Proverbs 27:17

There is something happening in Christianity right now which we need to address.  It is the trend of many of my brothers and sisters (Myself included) to act in ways mirroring the world while preaching against it.

More often than not in the Conservative/Traditionalist branches of the faith we see a frenzied attack or stubborn refusal to delve into subjects.  This type of attitude and approach is hurting the Christian witness.

A great many Christians feel they are under attack and I understand this.  The fact of the matter is that the world has always been defined by scripture as hostile to those trying to live the religious life.

The world is based on a paradigm of fear of death/loss and self centered motivations.  This kind of a framework ultimately leads to things like Greed, Arrogance, Gossip, Dishonesty, Etc.  The problem is that it becomes more and more pervasive as that attitude and mindset is adapted to and internalized.  Ones rational almost becomes imprisoned in this framework and so does the community and larger society.

The paradigm of the world has left a lot of people exploited and in a great deal of pain.  It is appropriate to be angry about being hurt and about others being hurt.  It is appropriate to be sad for being part of that and feeling great remorse for the harm you have done to yourself and others.

It is however not correct to start viewing yourself as “Saved” and the rest of the world and its inhabitants as worthy of your wrath, ridicule, and slander.

We are all suffering and we are all injured and scarred/scared.  Most likely in ways we aren’t fully aware of or understand.

As the spirit of the world is one that only leads to alienation from oneself and others, The spirit of heaven is one that builds communion and heals/lifts ever higher.

The spirit of heaven seems foolishness to the wisdom derived from living in the world.

It is the spirit of lending without expecting to get anything back, Selling all your possessions and giving them to the poor.  Devote your life to feeding the hungry and thirsty, Welcoming the stranger into your home and to partake of your blessings, Making sure those without clothes and support have so, Tending to the sick and dying, Visiting and befriending the prisoners and most hated amongst men.

Lastly the spirit of heaven calls on people to take no bag, no money, no food, or extra clothes and to preach that the truth isn’t the spirit of the world which seems to be unavoidable and all that there is.  That the truth is that death has been defeated and no longer has a sting and we can live free from fear.  That life can begin to be about healing and finding our proper place/meaning and that this is how God wants us to live.  He wants us to prosper and be happy and be reconciled to each other and then to praise him not out of duty but out of sheer gratitude and happiness for the new lives we have.

This is what it means to die to the old self and be born again.

A big part of this is changing the culture.

We as Christians need to remember that it’s not only about having the right propositions (Gospel) it is about the attitude and way in which we live and witness to it.

If we address peoples points of debate and or other ideas with slander or worse manipulation to suit our narratives we strengthen the world and not the witness of the Kingdom of God.

There is a golden dawn in really delving into these discussions with people from other points of view and understanding their narrative.  In fostering an environment of peace and discussion we will be able to better witness and the light of the gospel will clearly shine.

So in summary please don’t lash out at people with other view points.  Instead foster the “Fruits of the Holy Spirit” within you:  Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

And meditate day and night on the commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

If you do this you may be amazed at how you start relating to others and remember if one is a Christian than one believes everyone is their relative and like a brother, sister, mother, or father.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

 

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Christian Character Traits

    1. I echo your reply, we are all one in Christ Jesus, being secure in our faith helps tremendously when we are challenged by things that cut close to the bone and keeping a civil tongue in our heads or not using the Scripture as a sword can be challenging

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree about the using the scripture “against” one another- I don’t think that was the intention of The Bible’s rules”-I think they were meant to safeguard us-everytime I sin, I need love and reassurance-not condemnation- I already feel bad-well I don’t know much-but love is more powerful than we imagine. Thank you for your thoughts-going to check out
        your blog

        Liked by 1 person

  1. thesmilingpilgrim ,
    Very thought provoking post… one of the things that needs to be addressed is the tendency of the church to pick out scripture to brand others with whilst ignoring other scriptures that point to their own failings.

    I have faith and believe that if Christians were less judgemental then our message would not be seen as so hypocritical in some areas.

    We need to stick to the message and example that Jesus set, and yes that means getting our hands dirty. Jesus hung out with people seen as undesirable in society and didn’t stand there ramming down Old Testament scripture down their necks, instead he washed peoples feet , befriended prostitutes and the poor and showed love in many different ways.

    Churches I have been in tend to eventually get a very closed view, it’s the “world” and “us” they put up the barricades and don’t mix with non believers, the do their own pot-lucks, home-groups, Sunday services etc. Without advertising list of the things we do, (that’s between us and God and not for ticked off Brownie points in public) we get in and get our hands dirty.

    We have a wide range of real friends from all races and religions, several are strict Muslim (yes, headscarf’s and all) and it was a learning curve, all the etiquette about what (not) to do, when where etc. When you accept them, openly for what they are: Human Beings who just happen to have a different faith, that in turn promotes respect, then trust, and finally questions and dialogue. THEN they might be open to the gospel not before. It’s also not up to me to convert them, that is the job of Jesus in their hearts, when the moment is right. It IS my job to bring the message and sew the seed.

    Our Muslim friends and I have had the kind of open discussion about faith that I have never managed with other Christians who just start stamping on their favourite few verses and close up if someone brings a different opinion.

    Everything is a two way street, with freedom comes responsibility and with responsibility comes accountability. In all things it is NOT up to me to pass judgement… that is up to God for each of us at the end of our days. I do not presume to take that place. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with a lot of what your saying.

      I think to many Christians tied the gospel and the revelation of God in Jesus Christ to something akin to a propositional truth.

      So certain propositions are argued over as if they are the living truth of God which is beyond all measure.

      There is an experience when one becomes selfless and devotes their life and all their strength to the “Other” of strangers, the poor, etc.

      As Christians that is are calling and in that experience the brilliance of witness burns through all propositions.

      There is a great christian monk that talked about the fire of the experience of “I am” (Translation of Yahweh in a sense) as so consuming and such a powerful fire it burned away all thought and experience in it’s presence.

      Great reply! 🙂

      Like

  2. “It is however not correct to start viewing yourself as “Saved” and the rest of the world and its inhabitants as worthy of your wrath, ridicule, and slander.” – I totally agree.
    The most important thing is to love and care about others, even though some might not treat you kindly. True change in the world begins when you change yourself. Beautiful post!

    Like

  3. “It is however not correct to start viewing yourself as “Saved” and the rest of the world and its inhabitants as worthy of your wrath, ridicule, and slander.” Absolutely agree. And way too many are too quick to anger, too quick to judge, too quick to exclude.

    All of us must follow Jesus’ gospel of love and inclusion. He always loved first, invited first.

    Thank you for the grace and love you show to all Christians through this blog. You are a blessing, a light in the darkness showing true love to your neighbors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “If you do this you may be amazed at how you start relating to others and remember if one is a Christian then one believes everyone is their relative and like a brother, sister, mother, or father.” This is so true. We’re all in this together, and all of us suffer in some way and have problems.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s