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Hey there, I'm Sunny Shell, a wretch saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. I'm married to the most incredible man on earth, who loves Jesus more than he loves me, and we have two precious adult sons.

The compassionately endures me through my metabolic disease (since 2004) that enables me to be more prayerful and careful about commitments I make and helps me to make the best use of my short time here on earth.

If you want to know more about me, click HERE.

Communicating for the glory of God or to make a point?



"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear...And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works...And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

~Eph 4:29; Heb 10:24; Col 3:14-17

I am grieved by the communication motives of professing Christians; including me.

What motivates us to communicate? Is it be bring glory, honor and praise to God, or to bring all these things to ourselves? Do we write books, blog posts, articles, Facebook and Google Plus statuses; post comments, use Twitter, and have private and public conversations in order to exhort believers to know God more (Jer 9:23-24) so we can love Him and others better (Mk 12:29-31), or do we communicate with others only to make a point and appear wise and mature in Christ (James 3:13-18)?

Is our only motive to convict others of their sins and constantly provoke Christians to judge one another because externally, they don't seem to practice their love for God with the same religious activities we do (James 4:11-12)? Or do we communicate so others will commend us and feed our already overactive egos? While this is true for those in this world, but may this not be so for the children of the Most High!

If we, as God's holy and dearly loved children, communicate only to glorify our viewpoint, then we ought to close our mouths, move away from our keyboards and bow our knees to God, fervently beseeching Him to help us with our prideful, self-centered hearts, before we speak to anyone else. If we do this, perhaps we'll be surprised to find we're the ones who need to repent to God, as well as humbly request the gracious forgiveness of others.

"whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. to Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
~1 Peter 4:11

As Christians, we are to live and die to Christ (Rom 6:10-11; 14:8). We are no longer enslaved by our futile thinking and the wisdom of this world (James 3:13-16), rather, we are granted  a rich and glorious gift—the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16b). This exceedingly gracious gift from God our Father has freed us to serve and love God with our whole hearts, souls, minds and strengths and love others as the Lord has commanded; and especially to those in the household of faith (Heb 11:6, Gal 6:10).

"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another."
~Gal 5:13-15

Are we to lovingly come alongside other saints in Christ who are obviously in sin (i.e., prideful, disrespectful to authority, practicing sexual immorality, lying, thieving, gossiping, etc.)? Absolutely! But how? By the Word of God and through prayer, we must seek counsel from the Holy Spirit so we can speak with incorruptible words, wisely discern what's most edifying to the hearer, and impart God's grace to them, with love, mercy, understanding and compassion, just as Christ our God has so kindly treated us.

If we speak the holy, good and perfect Word of God in loving rebuke, it will afflict the hearer, just as it ought (Proverbs 27:5-6, 2 Cor 7:9-10, Heb 12:11), but causing someone grief doesn't necessarily mean what you've said or how you said it was displeasing to God (Gal 1:10), though it may be displeasing to the one whom you rebuke. 

The Word of God, when used correctly (2 Tim 2:15) will cut and judge the attitude of our hearts (Heb 4:12-13) causing deep, and often humiliating pain. But Christ, who is the Word, like a masterful surgeon, not only cuts to reveal the disease (sin) that needs to be removed, but also binds the wound with His steadfast love, comfort and gentle mercy (2 Cor 2:7-8) to all those who have a humble and contrite heart, for God lifts up the humble, but He opposes the proud (Ps 51:17, Is 57:15, 1 Peter 5:5).

If we (that includes me) can only communicate through our personal frustrations, childlike/erratic emotions, petty annoyances, and presumed offenses we think others have committed against us, rather than through humility and love issued from the pure and sincere heart we've inherited from Christ (1 Tim 1:5), then may God put His hand over our mouths, keyboards and pens so that we might not grieve the Spirit of the one with whom we have been sealed for the day of redemption (Eph 4:30).

"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words...The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice...A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."
~Ecc 5:1-3, Prov 12:15, 18:2

If we're not communicating for God's glory alone, it is better to say nothing at all, rather than be considered a fool by God Almighty, as well as those He allows to witness the sewage that falls out of our mouths; revealing what's in our unrepentant and prideful hearts.

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Sunny. I find I don't think about my motivations nearly as I ought. Reading this  made me think about the fact that I can only examine myself in this, not others. I am sure you've experienced, as I have, the accusation of pride or judging others...which is all the harder to deal with when it is partly true (since my pride rears up and immediately reacts in defense of myself), even if the other person can't possibly know! All the more do I need to carefully evaluate myself in why I say what I do. And pray for humility when confronted or accused...knowing myself, I can be certain it is never completely undeserved. :/ I have a LONG way to grow...may God pry my eyes off myself and affix them on His gloriousness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sweet sister Teresa, I'm with you! :o) One of the reasons why I wrote this post was a reminder to me as to why I write. I've got to admit, I'm often tempted to fly into the popularity of blogging/writing or being on social media...to say and do things that make me look get, get the most "likes" or comments or shares...basically, to bring glory to myself and my work rather than bring glory to God.

    I think, if we all admit it, communicating in any way (whether privately with friends or publicly online) we're all tempted to look for some kind of self-glorification/satisfaction.

    I pray that as God's children, every Christian will be more prayerful and less quick to communicate in any manner...quick to listen...slow to speak. ♥

    ReplyDelete

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." ~ C.T. Studd
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