As I sit here drinking my coffee this morning, I realized that all this division in the world stems from our inability to decipher real disciples of our faith over false disciples of our faith.
I scanned through multiple verses in the bible, searching diligently for the one that I was looking for. A couple of handful of verses showed up. So many on false prophets and warnings to beware. Nothing exactly explaining what I was searching for. Sigh.
What I do know is everyone is searching for God’s message in all of this chaos, in all this division. I know I am. I try to decipher who is really speaking truth with my faith in mind, and who is speaking hurtful, false teachings. It seemed like an impossible task. I guess because even those who I love seem to be spewing out hate, rebuking others out of spite.
I realized that we are all human, which in turn means we are all sinners. Our sinfulness cannot be denied. We have this amazing free will to do as we please. God gave us this, and he mercifully forgives us for our bad choices. I don’t know about you, but this forgiveness is a game changer for me.
Because of this sin, we will never truly be perfect. We will all make mistakes. We will all make poor choices. The good news is we all the opportunity to do better.
In my life, I can look back and cringe on things I said and did that were not well thought out. There have been times I took a stand for what I believed was good. Times I believed that God truly needed me to be his voice. Yet, I realize now that I spoke out for my own pride and for my benefit.
There have been movements and causes that I have backed with a vengeance, truly believing I was doing good in this world. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I did make great impacts, but was God really asking me to do it? I lacked prayer behind my decisions. I lacked guidance. I lacked patience.
Speak now! Type now! Respond now! Protest now! Immediate gratification that I was doing something to reform everyone to this grand plan that I was positive God backed.
All of the human-contrived movements on this earth are just that – human created. They will be imperfect. Even those movements with the backing of the highest clergy will be imperfect. Mostly because we are imperfect people. We sin. We make bad choices now and then. We don’t truly listen to God. We lack prayer and patience.
In place of just taking a moment to pause – we create noise. We pursue our right to speak freely. We protest. We make signs to post our belief to the world. We write opinion letters. These are all good things, but did we take a moment to clear the bad noise before creating more noise? Were we taking time to really pause, pray, and center our self with Christ? Do we give others time to pause and center themselves on Christ?
As a Christian I believe with all my heart and all my mind that prayer is action. It is hard to do – like exercise, but you need to do it every single day. Prayer is a game- changer. Prayer changes MY mind. Prayer allows ME to see my own imperfections. Prayer opens ME up to what God is calling me to do. Prayer gives ME strength to take on difficult days. Prayer removes my egotistical stubbornness into a love that God can only instill in me.
So are there false prophets out there?
You bet there are.
The key is seeing that all of us suffer from sin. The key is to find compassion, love, and empathy for these false prophets. We have to love them to open their hearts to God. Sometimes that love comes with a rebuke, but it better be well thought out. Rebukes come from a loving heart not from a hateful (your wrong and I’m right) heart. That is why Jesus’ rebukes were perfect, well-thought out, and planned to change hearts.
Let us all remember Paul. He certainly was someone who did much evil against God, but look what happened? And it wasn’t a human that changed him, it was God. So pray before you speak. Pray before you take action. Don’t get in the way of God’s plan. Don’t get in the way of God’s job. Our job is to love. Love even those who speak falsely because they are sinners just like me.