Commentary By: Gordon King
If I ask you the question: “What do you think turns people away from God?”, how would you answer?
The world is a very wicked and evil place, people are becoming cold with hardened hearts, turning away from the light and further into the darkness. When you speak of Jesus Christ many respond negatively, and many just walk away. Yet, is this what turns people away from hearing about God?
I would argue that one of the most common reasons for people not wanting any part of Christianity is not the gospel itself, but the followers of Christ!
People living in the secular world watch the way Christians act, they see how we treat each other, and they make judgments on this behavior, judgments of Christ, judgments of Christianity as a whole. And whether or not these actions reflect Christ, they believe it to be the truth!
I have heard over and over again of people who once attended church then were discouraged from the faith by listening to other believers and watching how they treated other believers.
We as followers of Christ must be just that, followers! We are to reflect God, to allow Jesus Christ to work in us and through us. And when we act any other way than the way Christ would act then this is not from God, but is from evil spirits and a wicked heart!
There are many Christians who treat other Christians with contempt, they act hypocritical of other believers, perhaps mocking them, putting them down, and disrespecting them. The world sees this, they are watching. They correlate the actions of the believer to Christ, and they then make a judgment about Christianity. Why would they want to be a part of a religion where believers treat each other badly, where they discourage one another?
We must be very careful in our actions, our thoughts, and in what we say to one another. The old saying “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” has been around for a very long time. This saying is demonic, evil, and a lie from Satan! Words can be very damaging to a person, they can even kill! What comes forth from the mouth has a dramatic effect upon those receiving them.
When we were small children words most definitely effected us. They formed our own thoughts and opinions of the world, they either gave us inspiration and encouragement or they took away from our spirit and discouraged us from being what we could be. They not only changed us from within as children, but they formed us as adults! The same is true for us as adults, words can and do effect our psyche, our spirit, and our beliefs. They either encourage or discourage.
Be very careful what and how you say things to someone else, even to another believer. It not only has and effect on the secular world, but it also has an effect on the believer. It can tear down faith, discourage a follower from seeking God, and lead them to despair.
We as children of the Most High God of the universe are to encourage one another, to build up, not discourage and tear down! Tearing down and apart is the job of Satan, not of God Almighty! Our God is the God of encouragement, of restoration, and of creation.
We are in Christ and Christ is in us! If this is true and it is, then we must allow Christ to work through us. Hold your tongue, stop and think before you speak. Do not be one to spew words which are not words which Christ Himself would speak!
It is wiser to hold one’s tongue and not speak, then it is to speak freely of anything which comes to mind. Words do hurt, they damage both the soul and the spirit, and once it’s said there is no taking it back! Speaking words which harm another person is evil and not from God.
As Christians we are to encourage and build up, let us not forsake the ways of the Lord nor grieve Him by acting in ways which are unholy and unrighteous. Encourage one another, build each other up, love one another, be kind to one another, treat others as you would also like to be treated!
God bless my friends! Maranatha!