Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why You Don't Want To Be Primarily Known For What You're Against

Photo Credit: 4lfie
It is a sobering reality that in many segments of our society Christians are known more for what we are against than for what we are for. Our public demonstrations against various sins and groups that we believe to be enemies of God have left many with the impression that we Christians are simply a bunch of angry zealots with nothing better to do than to demonize others.

In a convicting and telling post, Byron Yawn outlines the reasons why we probably don't want to be known as the "angry prophet." Yawn says this:
"Of the many things I’ve learned about pastoral ministry over these years one stands out among the most helpful: There is a real danger in consistently defining yourself and your ministry by what you are against."
He then goes on to list ten dangers of defining yourself by what you're against. Though primarily directed at pastors, his admonitions could apply to any of us. Here they are:
1. You’ll forget to talk about what’s good… especially about Jesus.

2. You’ll begin to take yourself too seriously.

3. You’ll begin to preach the same sermon from every passage.

4. You’ll foster mean people.

5. You’ll eventually assemble an audience of self-congratulatory clones.

6. You’ll take all correction personally and as an unpardonable offense against “God’s man.”

7. You’ll make a terrible shepherd.

8. You’ll become the type of person you warn others about.

9. You’ll thrive on controversy.

10. People will stop listening.
Jesus instructed us that we would be primarily known as followers of Him by the love we show to one another. That doesn't mean we never seek to speak truth but it does mean that the truth we speak is motivated by love and not condemnation.

You can read Yawn's complete post here.

(h/t to Tim Challies for the link)

1 comment:

Hearkened Child said...

This is so spot on about some Christians. As my pastor would say, he loves the people but it's the 'act' that he doesn't like. Approaching everything from the perspective of love then we won't come across as fierce and mean.

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