Are You Sure You Want To Be My Friend?
Are You Sure You Want To Be My Friend? My wife can’t stand me sometimes. Neither can my friends and family. You see one of my dominant personality traits is a spiritual gift. This particular gift that God has blessed me with is very positive and if used in love can be a great benefit to the church; however along with it comes the “flip side” of the coin. This flip side is a very negative trait that if I do not take care to be diligent in prayer and devotions, can lead me to one of the most damaging sins to the church. There is a very fine line which I must walk, completely relying on the strength the Lord provides and not trusting in my own strength or “wisdom.”
You are probably wondering what I am talking about. We are all gifted in certain areas and God has blessed me with what some say is the gift of prophecy. No that does not mean that I can see the future nor do I receive new revelation from God! It has nothing to do with seeing those things, rather it means that those who have this spiritual gift proclaim the truth of the Word, they see the truth and they love the truth. I thrive on preaching, speaking, and teaching God’s Word (as you may have guessed.) So I would rather call it a gift of proclaiming truth to avoid confusion.
I am very discerning; I see most things in black or white, there is very little grey area with me (and this irritates my wife and those around me.) I point out sin or the appearance of sin in people not to simply judge them or out of a sense of self-righteousness, rather it is with the goal of making my brothers and sisters aware of sin in their lives so they will repent, so they can grow in their spiritual walks with Christ.
In fact, this has been a curse to me since I tend to easily spot what is wrong and then have to look to find something right. I spend hours praying and grieving over my own sins as well as the sins of my brothers and sisters, and for those who are as yet unbelieving. Because of this I tend to be very serious about life. I find it hard to laugh at times. In fact it is a burden of mine. I have prayed so many times for God to just let me be a little more lighthearted! Please let me just live in the moment! Why can’t I just “let things go?” Why must I be burdened with this, while everyone around me is enjoying themselves!?!?!
People think that I am too demanding, people think that I like hurting people’s feelings, and that I have no understanding, that I am a killjoy. I often hear people tell me to “lighten up.” One of my greatest challenges has been to keep a spirit of love, so I must live in the Word and pray continually that God would keep me from being judgmental. I know that it is the Holy Spirit and the Word that will convict people of their sins and not me personally. I know that the Holy Spirit leads my brothers and sisters through their sanctification at varying rates of speed. But sometimes I can become discouraged when others do not see sin the way I see it and address sins in their own lives the way that I would. So please pray for me that our Lord would grant me patience, love, tact and a positive mindset.
Now don’t get me totally wrong, I am more than capable of laughing and have a good time, but when the moral line begins to fade or the line between good and evil becomes blurred my “spidey sense” begins to tingle and I am unable to sit by and idly watch as my brothers and sisters partake of questionable or outright sinful things. I guess this upsets some people, it upsets me sometimes, but I would be more worried if these things did not bother me. And please know that I am not intending to judge you, if it ever comes across that way. I simply want to see spiritual growth in myself and those around me. One of my greatest joys is rejoicing with someone who has overcome a sin they struggle with, by the power of Christ.
Again I ask that you would pray that the Lord would grant me patience and a spirit of love…and I will pray for you as well.
One last thing, I might irritate you but really you should feel for my kids…Imagine having a dad who sees things black or white, with no wiggle room. I almost feel sorry for my kids. Almost.
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.