Friday, January 24, 2020

Expressions & Impressions

By Ron Thomas

    Are you approachable? It is likely each of us can say, “Yes, I am approachable. Why do you ask?” It was not long ago that I heard a sister say to the preacher, “You’re approachable.” This is an interesting remark. Is the case that some in the congregation, perhaps Bible class teachers, other saints, elders are not? Perhaps. On the other hand, maybe all that was meant is the preacher is approachable and easy to talk to.
    Are you judgmental? Some time back, a good way in fact, I heard a person say of an elder, “He is judgmental!” The context of that remark had to do with “Let us not approach him lest we be given a judgmental lecture about how we have done this or that wrong.” The idea behind the word “judgmental” is negative in just about every use of the word. We all have a standard by which we live and judge. Most of the time the standard is of our own making, but the standard by which we live and judge is to be the Lord’s. Then, putting that into practice, we form our opinions along with our experiences into a firm decree by which we live. When that decree by which I live is compelled on another person without them asking for it, I become judgmental. I have learned long ago this is a recipe for separation.
    Again, not too long ago, I heard a brother say that when something was introduced into his mind, say some failings or struggle that belongs to a particular saint, the brother who is told this information – told because there is a desire to receive help to overcome – the brother told now can’t get the impression from the mind. Consequently, whenever the struggling one presents him or herself to the preacher, the impression made is the only image seen. The preacher now has to get over the hurdle to be of any help, while the one needing help does not realize the extra height that needs to be scaled.
    Have you come across a saint who mumbles much, says nothing in the mumbling worth hearing, but is judgmental in the saying of it? I have. Rather disappointing. Murmuring/mumbling destroyed the nation of Israel (1 Cor. 10:9-10) and it destroys the saint who engages in the same.
    This goes a long way to solving all of the above: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
    Each of us should put it into practice.

- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.

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