What Do My Words Say About Me?
1 John 2:9-11
Verse 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.
This week we are answering questions posed a few days ago. Yesterday we finished answering the question about our relationship with God and today we turn our attention to the question, “What is my relationship with fellow believers in the church?”
The topic of inner church community relationships is a touchy one. If we were to walk into any church in America we would soon encounter fractures within relationships. Human relationships are tricky things to maintain because so many things can get in the way. Sometimes it is our own pride that gets in the way and sometimes it is others that cause the rift. Gossip can also be a large influence.
The Bible has a lot to say about pride and the way it can cause issues in our relationships. When we have trouble with the sin of pride we can’t help but do things and say things that are in our best interest. This means we put ourselves before others and that leads to broken relationships as we make sure that we are getting what we want. Pride is a dangerous thing in a person’s life but it can mean death to a church community.
On the other hand fractures in a relationship can happen because we allow others to muddy our opinion of others. This can be a result of gossip or it can just be in passing conversation. The fact is that we put a lot of weight on what people say about others. That is why the claim about word of mouth being the best advertisement is so true. No matter if we mean to say something mean or not, what we say about someone else makes an impression on the one hearing it.
Have you ever thought about the conversations you have with others in the body of the congregation? How often do you mention a person not in on the conversation? Next think about the types of things you may say about that person. If those comments could cause someone else in the conversation to change to a negative view of the other person we may have a problem. We are not called to make our opinions about a person known. This is a way that rifts can start in the church. And these fractures hurt the community Sabbath worship. It is hard to truly praise God with people you are at odds with.
Making It Personal
Have you ever found yourself dealing with pride? What have you said about someone that you know you shouldn’t have said? What changes do you need to make to keep from causing fracture in the community of faith?
Making It Personal Kids
What hurt can be caused by talking bad about someone? Can anything good come from telling something good about someone? How do you talk about others?
Father, teach us how to watch our words and attitudes about others. Keep us from gossip and other things that could hurt Your family in our church. In Jesus’ name, amen.