Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Good Heathen Counsel

Why are we so willing to devalue the gifts of another? Is it insecurity, pride, the influence of the enemy? Personally, there are times I don't understand the gifts of another, and admittedly, I can be rather quick to pull out my ladder, go up into the tree and start fruit inspecting. Fruit inspection, testing, and mutual judgment are really the only biblical means we do have to deal with the subject, but do we have to do it with such virulence?

Everywhere in the blogosphere, on the radio, in books and magazines, self-appointed judges are holding self-proclaimed prophets' feet to the fire. It ain't pretty most of the time! Isn't there at least a vestige of respect due to someone who calls Jesus Lord? Even if someone is off doctrinally in what we consider a very dangerous way, we should always be mindful of how our response will affect the unlearned and weak. When we throw ice water on the gifts of others with such gusto, the babes watching decide never to give anyone the opportunity to do that to them. It doesn't make them careful, it makes them timid and silent! If angels disputing over the body of Moses could be respectful of demons, shouldn't we be a little more cautious when disputing those who may well be brothers and sisters in the Lord?

My grandmother was a salty character, not a church lady at all, but I did learn some wisdom from her. In the midst of my adolescent rebellion, I happened to say something disparaging to someone in her presence. She took me to task for being disrespectful. I rejoined that nobody got my respect until they proved they deserved it. She cut my feet out from under me, correcting me with, "Everyone gets your respect until they've proved they don't deserve it!" She was right, I have tried to live by that ever since. She was a heathen, but I find myself wishing we followed her good counsel in the church!