One of the nicest left-handed compliments I ever received was from a Regional Vice President under who I was a Sales Manager for a large home remodeling company (if you’re reading this, Jim, thank you so much for setting me straight back then.)
He told me that what I say is almost always correct, but because I say it the wrong way no one wants to hear it.
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I have heard and seen people who profess to be Christians telling others about what they believe to be the truth, and when someone disagrees with them, they attack that person with both spiritual and personal insults. What they often do that really pisses me off more than any other thing is this: when they are asked to be polite, they claim they are only telling the truth and that if we don’t listen to their wisdom then God is not in us and we are defending the wrong religion, or we are satanically influenced, or some other reprehensible attack.
To those people, I say this: because of your lack of respect for people, who are also God’s children, and because of your pride and self-righteous attitude, even if what you say is correct, you will be wrong because you will never convince anyone by insulting them. Beyond that, you do nothing more than present a poor example of a Christian and when you use the word of God to justify being a self-righteous sphincter muscle, you insult God.
I recently had a discussion with someone about the calendar. He has done a lot of research, using non-scriptural books from the Apocrypha, and insists that because I am comfortable using the standard Jewish calendar that most of the world uses, I am defending a specific religion which is teaching us to celebrate pagan holidays.
Let me digress for a moment: we all know about the “Holy Namers”, and we also have “Flat Earthers”, but now we can add one more overly-zealous group, who are absolutely obsessed with the “correct” calendar for identifying the Shabbat and the festivals, and I am calling them “Lunartics.”
I never said he was wrong, or that I was right, I simply said I don’t agree. As for the details of our discussion, I’m not going to go into that here because they are not relevant to this message.
What is relevant about this event is that because he was so nasty and insulting, even though I asked multiple times for him to not insult me or my faith, and if he didn’t stop I would have to block him, I ended up having to block him.
And you know what? I’ll bet he is bragging about being blocked. I have seen other people do that, always telling others that they should listen and never listening to others until they get blocked, and then they brag about it as if they were like those Yeshua talks about being happy because they have been persecuted for his sake.
If someone asks you to please not be nasty, don’t defend yourself- apologize. You may not think you were nasty, but if they do, then you were. It’s that simple.
There are Bible verses telling us to speak the truth, how the wise accept correction and that fools reject correction. Often enough, these are used by nasty people preaching their own beliefs as justification for their attitude. They don’t realize how much of a hypocrite they are: they accuse others of refusing to hear the truth (which is their truth), and when asked to please be nice or not so nasty, they ignore the correction being given to them. They don’t want to be nice, or respectful, or even to recall that they were once also neophytes in the Lord and didn’t know things. I’ll wager they were taught with compassion, patience, and understanding, which they now sorely lack.
There is one Biblical verse I believe can never be taken out of context because it is universally applicable. That verse is found in 1 Corinthians 13:2, and it goes like this:
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 do not have love, I am nothing.
People who get angry, who become insulting on both a spiritual and personal level, who judge you and accuse you of being ignorant and refusing to hear the truth, all because you don’t agree with what they believe, can’t possibly have the love that a spiritually mature person has. Even if what they are saying is valid, no one will pay attention to them. They will be blocked or ignored, and that is the most shameful thing that can happen because maybe, just maybe, they really have something important to hear.
For my money, if someone is blocked because of what they say, it is more likely the way they are saying it instead of what they are saying. Once blocked, they haven’t performed a service for the Lord, they have helped the Enemy of the Lord because they have turned someone away from hearing God’s word. They leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who might be interested in learning about God, especially someone who may not be a Believer and is seeking knowledge.
They place themselves on a pedestal alongside the likes of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, James, and Shaul, speaking as though they are the only ones with the true understanding of God’s word.
They aren’t full of the spirit, they are only full of themselves, and their mannerisms are shameful, loveless, and not just useless, but harmful to God’s plan of salvation.
As far as I am concerned, if you can’t talk to people compassionately, with understanding, patience, and love, then just shut the heck up because what you say, no matter how correct, will be ignored; and all you will be doing is making it that much harder for the next person God might send to them to make any headway.
To conclude today’s rant, I want you to know that I have thought about this topic and asked God to show me if it is a result of my personal peeve or if it is something that stems from righteous anger. I confess I am still not sure, so I leave it up to you: do you think I am just venting on a personal level or am I justified in being angry and saying what I have said with regard to those people who behave as I have described?
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And, as always, I welcome your comments and only ask whether you agree or disagree, just be nice.
Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!