At Hope Church, when you join, you sign an agreement that you won't gossip about other members. That agreement also covers grumbling and complaining about each other, including the pastor.
It's really pitiful that a signed agreement should be necessary in a church that's supposed to be the Bride of Christ, but Dr. Adrian Rodgers helped draft the original church documents, and I'm sure he had his own problems with grumblers.
It's hard to generate a tirade against someone if you've vowed not to grumble, complain, or gossip. That agreement keeps us a generally happy group.
When I first saw it, I wondered why all churches don't implement the same kind of document. Then, I realized we, the body of Christ, already have one. Scripture is very clear. Our "no-gossip" commitment is nothing more than a reminder of what God has already told us in His Word.
As we head to church today, let's remember a few admonitions from Scripture:
~ "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." Ephesians 4:29 esv
~ "If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness... then your light will rise in the darkness.. And the Lord will continually guide you..." Isaiah 5:9,10,11 nasb
"Corrupting talk" includes grumbling and complaining. If we don't like the menu, the order of service, the songs that are sung, the sermon, the color of the cushions on the pews, the budget, or anything else, we should keep quiet and repent of our judgmental, critical spirit.
It's that simple.
It doesn't mean that we can't speak truth if something is Biblically incorrect or there's false teaching, but that's not usually the problem we're complaining about, is it?
~ "Don't grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!" James 5:9 niv
"Grumbling" can become a bad habit if we're not careful.
When I read James' words about grumbling, I realized that Jesus Himself, the Judge, hears every grumbling thing I say. I can be confident that He's not favorably impressed by all my grumbling, so the best thing for me, for all of us, to do is to stop it. Just stop it.
Whether we've signed a no-gossip, no-grumbling agreement or not, we, the body of Christ already have the Word of God and it is abundantly clear.
Grumbling and complaining have no place in the Bride of Christ.
Today, let's harness our mouths and our attitudes and behave like Jesus intended us to behave, with unity and love.
When we do, the entire world will be so surprised that they'll want to know about this Christ of ours, who not only conquered sin and death, but conquered our grumbling tongues, as well.
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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: When the Devil Knows More About Jesus Than We Do
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