Sunday, June 28, 2009

Meekness of Wisdom

What leaders should do to avoid hurting church memebers

James 3:13-17 (Amplified Bible) Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.
[superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity)

I get calls from church members quite often, sometimes they just want someone to pray with them, and sometimes in their voice I can tell they just need someone to encourage them in God’s Word, occasionally they call to tell me about someone in the church that hurt them.

Whenever I get that last type of call I wait on God to give me the right word for them, even while my ear is still on the phone listening to their dilemma, I am in prayer, asking God to use me as a conduit so that they may receive the message that He has for them.

Today we find members of the Body of Christ in constant conflict with one another, someone can’t get alone with Miss Green “Because she is just too bossy” or the praise and worship leader thinks he is the only one that can sing the lead for that hymn. Even though this is a problem it is not the intentions of this blog.

The intention of this blog is to address what a leader should do to avoid him or her being the origin of member’s conflict. There is nothing more unsettling then to have to apologize for another leader’s carnal handling of a member. And most of the time it is with those members that are new in their walk with Christ, those members that we should handle with the most care and love.

No one is going to be without conflict, but as leaders we are more responsible to carry the banner of Christ in all parts of our life, not just on Sunday. So when I hear things like Deacon So-in-so did this, or Elder What-cha-ma-call-it always does that, I am often at lost for words, as I wait on the spirit to lead me.

When a leader is the origin of the complaint we must take this cry for help very seriously, we have at jeopardy the character of the leader and the salvation of the member, neither of which should be fractured because of carnal thinking on the part of one or both or them. God has given leaders that they may guide those that are not quite mature in their spiritual walk with Christ. A leader is tasked with giving the Word of God in its purest form while still encouraging and being non-judgmental in the way he ministers to the flock. When ministering to the flock, the main goal of the leader should not be the correction of an individual’s problem, nor to point finger as to who’s the blame, nor should the leader use his position to pass judgment, but instead wait on the Spirit of God to lead him in what he should say. With spiritual discernment of what is the deeper problem the individual is dealing with, and spiritual knowledge of the scriptures 
(Romans 15:14) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 

A leader can provide the encouragement that the individual needs to move beyond his/her problem.It makes no difference how much a leader desires to give the member what he or she needs in their time of despair, if these two ingredients are not the foundation of Spiritual Advice ( given from the Holy spirit of God) than it is just that leader’s opinion. When the leader is not spiritually led to the correct scripture, and have not properly discern the problem, and then the leader can be confounded as to what to say to a member. Many times out of pride that leader may give them what they think in their head is needed.
Moreover when the leader is not led by the Spirit of God, he can not allow his/her knowledge of the individual or their situation skews sound judgment. And any advice not grounded in the Holy Spirit is carnal and evil, be they are done with good intentions or not.
(James 3:15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

“I did this out of Love” is never the right answer when dealing with the fragile heart of a member in need. We should never have to apologies for our actions or the way we speak to a member, because our actions and the way we speak to them must be godly, peaceable, loving, easily intreated (received) and full of mercy. 
(James 3:17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Too often I have seen members leave the church (my own family included) and some eventually their walk with Christ because they were hurt either emotionally, physically or spiritually by a leader in the Church. Some leaders justify members leaving by saying the God is weeding out the wheat from the tarries, but this is the propaganda of the devil and a reflection of the leader’s irresponsible and prideful behavior. 
(James 3:14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

If we are speaking harshly to our member we lack love, and are lying when we say we love them. If we spoke it with our mouths we thought it with our hearts, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh 
(Matthew 12:34) O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Leaders must always be alert to the seed that they allow to root in their heart, because every seed planted willalways produce fruit of some kind (sometimes a pear sometimes a prickly pear). The leader must constantly ask himself do I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, humility, and self-control (Galatians 5:22) especially when dealing with difficult and new members. If the leader lacks any of these, then he must make corrections in his life immediately! Because the leader is accountable to God not just for his salvation but also the perfection of the saints God has appointed to him.

Yout brother in Christ