Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Christian Leaders Beware: What Builds Your Platform Can Also Destroy It

I consider myself to be a pretty level headed person.  I try not to jump to conclusions too quickly or label someone because of here say.  That's not to say that I haven't at times, and for that I am truly sorry.

God has humbled me more times than I can count within my lifetime, and as a Christian speaker, I know that even though I may not have a million followers...not even a thousand, there are still enough people watching every move I make, listening to every word I speak, and reading most of what I write.

Today, I was tagged on a social media site in regards to a popular women's speaker and a long, sordid comment she made about the latest shooting of a black man by a cop.

Instead of this woman staying neutral on the subject (why she even brought it up in the first place is beyond me), she expressed her opinion for the second time that I've seen on this subject matter, and I assure you, it was tainted.

Her words carried weight.  Not really because of what she said, but who she said it to - the thousands of people who follow her page, and the tone of bias in which she spoke it.

It made me mad.  Quite frankly, I was infuriated.  But I was also sad enough to cry tears.

Not because this woman has an opinion.  She, along with everyone else on this planet are entitled to expressing their thoughts.  But I was saddened by her lack of discretion...her judging of a situation even before all the facts were brought to light.

Christian leaders beware!  What builds your platform can also destroy it.

What do I mean by that?  God raises certain people up to be a huge influence over others.  Some use that platform for the good, continually pointing their followers back to Him.

Others, sadly, use their sway and privilege to promote their own ideology.

Now whether this woman is trying to promote something under the guise of a comment on a social page, I don't know for sure.  But what I do know, is that a huge number of folks bought in to the blaming undertones of her message and quickly jumped on the racism bandwagon against police.

This should not be and I am sick to think that many of her followers are being conditioned to believe that this racism mantra is truth, when in fact, it is something that the evil one has sewn deeply within this nation as a tool to divide.

Leaders...whether you are a Sunday School teacher, church bus driver, Pastor, teacher, or nation-wide speaker, please be mindful of the powerful influence you have on those who follow.

Like sheep being led to the slaughter, there are so many who do not, and will not research for themselves, but will blindly believe whatever you tell them.

We are to model Christ in everything we do and say.  Don't allow what builds you (your words) become what destroys you in the end.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How Do I Forgive the Unforgiveable?

Forgiveness is hard.  Matter-of-fact, it is most often out of the realm of possibility within our own strength.

How does one forgive an abuser or an unfaithful spouse?  How do we forgive a boss who continues to overlook our accomplishments and hard work? 

What steps do we take to forgive a parent, a sibling, or a co-worker who have wronged us?

Jesus addressed the topic of forgiveness when Peter came to Him and asked, "'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?'  Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!'" Matthew 18:22

So what does that mean?  Does it mean that after seventy-seven times I am no longer obligated to forgive?

In essence, what Jesus was saying is this, "However much it takes....you forgive."

Okay, so again, what does that mean?  Do I allow people to run all over me?

That's not what Jesus said.  He said to forgive, not be a door mat, not to allow the abuse to continue, not to cozy up and be best friends with the one who has wronged you.  What He meant was to release that person from having a hold on you.  Release them from controlling your every thought...every emotion...every action, so that you may be set free from the bondage and weight that unforgiveness has.

Take for example...

A number of years ago, I began writing my second book.  This one, however, had great promise to reach out and help many because of the virtually non-existent list of others like it.  In the process of my writing, I stumbled across a "Christian" woman who owned her own publishing company.  After many conversations and a check of her credentials, I trusted her with the publishing of this book.  Many months went by and the sales began to decline, so much so that I began to wonder if I had made a mistake on the topic of this book.  Then by God's great mercies, I found out that this woman had been publishing my book on the side and pocketing the money without my knowledge.  I was devastated.  The hatred I had for this woman was great.  It began consuming me and affecting even my relationships with my loved ones.  Finally, my husband came to me and said, "You've got to deal with this."  That's when I knew that I had allowed my hatred and unforgiveness to push aside everything I knew to be right.  I had to forgive her and move on.  Thankfully, today I can honestly say that I hold no animosity towards this woman.  The book was re-done and re-published, and continues to sell to this day.  Whatever the enemy thought he was going to accomplish through this setback, failed.  I still have my book, but I also have my peace of mind....and even now, forgiveness.

Whatever it is that is holding you back today, release that to God, friend.   That unforgiveness can cause so much devastation in your life and the only one it really hurts is you.

Sending much love your way.  Remember, He is the only One who can give you the ability to forgive.  Why not call on Him today?


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Just Following Jesus!

How are you with early morning traffic? Lol.

This morning, I was on my way to work. Had a million thoughts running through my mind - some worshipful, others focused on mundane "to-do" lists, and still others wrapped up in frustrations, hurts, and longings.

I was just coming into the town I work when the car ahead of me slowed down to a snail's pace.

"Are you serious?! What are you moving so slow for?"

Confessing my crime, I rode this poor girl's bumper as my exasperation continued to rise, until I noticed she had a sticker in her back window...

I chuckled to myself. It was just like Him to interrupt my morning and remind me that often I do the very same thing to Him. I ride His bumper, so to speak, about all the things He has not done in my life.

Often I want to whip out around Him...to move ahead...pass Him up.

"Why are you going so slow?!"

"C'mon, God! Let's get this thing moving!!"

Instead, I should be content to follow behind and wait for the right time when He says, "Go! Now's the time."

Soooo, this morning as I finished the last few miles of my everyday commute, for those few minutes, I simply decided to...

Follow Jesus!