Brokenness and Right Believing (Part 2)

This is the second part of my blog brokenness and right believing. I love what it says in John 20:21, “Now when there was some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these then came to Phillip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, ‘Sirs, we wish to see Jesus.’” Jesus must remain the focus of our preaching and encourage right believing! This verse so moved me recently that I now have it attached to the rear wall as a reminder when I preach. People need to see Jesus! He is our salvation and our soul’s healer.

Often, I see pastors or evangelists post on Facebook, “40 souls saved,” or other numbers – some of the statistics are perhaps exaggerated. While we understand this “church language,” we need to understand that what they’re really saying is that 40 people responded to the saving and convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and now we have the wonderful, staggering responsibility to provide for the healing of their souls. Remember, “salvation is the initial treatment in a lifetime of cures.” Our job regarding lost and broken humanity ends only when we arrive in heaven!

Before I move on, allow me to make a statement regarding a major misconception, falsely assumed and passed along by both those who attend church and those who do not. Frankly, they expect Christians to be perfect all the time, and refuse to accept anything less. No warts allowed! However, to expect and even demand perfection is a practice in futility, and a bit hypocritical. As previously stated, imperfect people serve a perfect Savior. We must hold to this all-important truth.

On the other hand, Christians can and do bring reproach upon the Lord, the church and one another. This is a sad reality. None of us are what we should be all the time. This is not an excuse for allowing a less-than-good example, but again the recognition that all of us are hopelessly broken inside. We all say and do things we shouldn’t, when we allow our broken places to define us, and guide our behavior. It all starts with right believing. And I’ve come to understand that harsh criticism and judgmentalism, legalistic attitudes, unkind words, hurtful actions, gossip, lying, unfounded accusations, jealousy, anger, and betrayal are not only works of the flesh, but result when broken areas in our soul go unhealed. Again, I offer not an excuse but an explanation.

We all desperately need the grace of God to walk out our salvation in a way that brings honor to the Lord. I infrequently attended a small Assembly of God when I was a boy. Through the auspices of that church, I experienced saving grace when I was 14 years old. Much of what I learned about the Christian life centered around legalism, or law-based teaching. Scripture was often presented through the lens of personal conviction, and sadly, many were hurt by the lack of grace and unconditional love that seemed to characterize the ministry. One woman was known for her unkind words and judgmental attitude. Her opinions and comments cut like a knife, wounding many and causing them to leave. At the time, I remember thinking, “What a hypocrite!”

In retrospect, I now understand that she too suffered from soul wounds in her upbringing and the way the gospel was presented in her home. I remember that it always roots back to right believing. Legalistic ministry causes people to become critical and angry. Self-righteousness often results when what is taught at home and in church conflicts, thus producing soul wounds. Matters of insignificance become fodder for emotional pain. Individuals often filter what they say and how they speak through deeply rooted anger.

I’ve said for years that the acid test of our Christianity is how we treat people. Sadly, many believers fall into a rude, even crass, and complaining mode – self-centered – when it comes to godly social skills.

My wife recently attended and helped to facilitate a large homeschooling convention in a neighboring state. Booths were set up in the exhibition center, by vendors wishing to sell homeschool curriculum and other related items. Most of the displays were sponsored by conservative churches and/or parachurch ministries, and many of those who manned the booths were rude and self-serving. If their requests were not met in the manner they desired, or if convention workers made mistakes of any nature, they were quick to express their opinions in tactless ways. Unkind comments often turned into threats and condescending speech. I wonder if these believers in Jesus understand the reproach they were bringing upon the Lord and His Church in general? Do we give those outside the faith a valid reason to reject our Jesus and local churches? God forbid! These types of indiscretions burn bridges and build walls. May we pray with the psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). I still remember the answer Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political ethicist, gave when asked why he rejected Christianity. He said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

May God help us minimize our shortcomings and sins, and to practice damage control when we fail to uphold godly behavior and speech. Let’s start with right believing to break free of our brokenness.

Visit and read more of my blogs here



Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *