Which side of the FINGER POINTER are you on, today?

DISCLAIMER:  Please do not apply this as a personal message to any one person.  It is not.  I just  honestly believe it’s something we should be thinking about; something the Lord is working on in me.  I have spoken many many times on the cultural gap in churches.  Feel free to browse my blog 🙂

FINGER POINTING:  WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?  No matter what, you WILL end up on a side:  Deliverer, receiver, or just plain stuck inImage the middle.

So like I just HAD to dig up this song….it’s from a Christian Punk Band (some of you will debate whether that is possible or not…that is not the “point”) … The date on the link says 2009 but this is from the early 90’s if not 89 or so.  My best friend at the time, her boyfriend (now husband) was the drummer.  I have grown not to be so harsh as I had once been…but despite such MONUMENTAL growth…some still see this within me…..and that’s okay 🙂

Finger Pointer, by Nobody Special (I apologize but the link only works on PC)

Sometimes we do not realize just how hampered our vision is by cultural differences.  Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception, yet BOTH are equally responsible.  “Love in action” can be defined in very different ways from one person to another, from one generation to another, from one part of the country to another.  Maybe you are so busy judging the “pointer’s” delivery, you have not realized that there was a legitimate message to be received.  It’s almost like a double negative!!!  What do we get with a double negative?  🙂  While YES we are to deliver in love…but also respond/receive in love as well.  So let’s remember that when there is communication we have an opportunity to have it be ALL POSITIVE, no matter the delivery, no mater the how it’s received.  So let’s not hamper GROWTH!

Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception; yet BOTH are equally responsible.

Only God can build that perfect bridge of communication between cultures….but will you let Him?  He has built bridges in my life to those that felt to be a millennial of years away from ever understanding and for that I am forever grateful.  Those my friend, are called miracles and they happen ALL THE TIME 🙂

Are we letting people be who they are, or who we think they should be?  Are we letting people take their places in the body based on gifting … or are we trying to make the body into what we think it ought to look like?  These are legitimate church growth questions we all should be asking….That I am asking myself.

Finger pointing generally starts with an expectation.  Some where or some how that expectation fails.  Failed expectation always leads to offense.  We must be on guard!  Flee from offense at every opportunity.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate my (our) expectation of others.  After all this all has NOTHING to do with us.  It’s all about what HE wants to do!! In a way that HE wants to…  ❤

Finger pointing generally starts with OUR expectation of others, that fails.  Failed expectations always lead to offense.

Typically it’s failed expectations on BOTH parts.  The pointee:  “Oh but he did not come to me in love! That was just outright not nice!”…or The pointer:  “I’ve told them once, I’ve told them twice, no use in casting perals after swine…”  But we are to have NO EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS.  Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

Love must be without hypocrisy.  Detest evil;cling to what is good. 10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit;serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs;pursue hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice;weep with those who weep. 16 Be in agreement with one another.Do not be proud;instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:9-18 HCSB

One of my favorite passages:  Note it gives NO CONDITIONS or exceptions.  It does not say….”Outdo one another in showing honor…as long as he doesn’t cuss”…or ….”associate with the humble, as long as they don’t wear rock and roll T-shirts” … or even….”Share in the saints with their needs; pursue hospitality…..unless they live in the next town over”

Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

There are NO CONDITIONS on love, even if you a called to love a “finger pointer”, or maybe you have been over exercising your own finger, please remember to open your palm once in a while, reach out, and love those you have messages for, and to receive messages given.

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Prison meal a day: $.81 A prisoner’s value: Priceless

Today I was just humming along to the radio as I started a very busy day.  The days events ran thru my brain like a loco-motive (emphasis on loco).  Yet like a scratch on a chalk board my attention was drawn by two DJ’s having a conversation about a guy on death row suing the State of Idaho Corrections Department.  The jest of the suit is that recently the Department of Corrections has stopped serving 3 meals on weekends.  The incarcerated get 2.  The complainant has raised concerns over health and how he is losing weight.  But that was not my concern, nor do I have an opinion one way or another over 2 meals or 3 meals.  I know families that would love to enjoy the security of knowing they have a single balanced meal a day.  What got my goat was how they referred to this man on death row.  They had such contempt for him.  In their discussion they devalued him in such a way that they were actually proud of his dismay.

I have been deeply involved in prison/jail ministry so maybe that is why I see this as a non-issue.  But when should a persons value EVER be an issue?  Whether it be the prisoner that committed the most heinous crimes, or its the homeless man who fights daily with his demons of addiction, or even more close to home, the neighbor who neglects her kids.  We ought to see others with the vision that the Lord has for them, with the same heart.  I am NOT saying that there should not be consequences for crimes committed.  I am not saying that we need to be ignorant as to the character and the inability for these people to be contributing citizens to any community outside the confines of prison.  What I am saying is that we must still value them…we must still value their place here on earth, we must value the fact that they were created.  Most of all we must value that Christ died for them the same as He died for us.  Above that we must recognize that he would still die for them despite their crimes, no matter how horrific.

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.  (Eph 2:8-10 HCSB)

“FOR WE ARE HIS CREATION…”  Straight up, you insult anyone’s value, you insult the creator, God Himself.

16 From now on, then, we do not knowanyone in a purely human way.  Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (2Cor 5:17-18 HCSB)

WE TRULY KNOW NOTHING.  Only God is the judge, because only He knows a man’s heart.  We must acknowledge and value ANYONE’S coming to Christ — Irregardless of their past.

Ultimately, we must NEVER question a person’s value to God.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer knowHim in this way.(2 Cor 5:14-16 HCSB)

No one is a throw away.  No one ought be considered as disposable.  We must never take joy in ANYONE’S suffering or ultimately their death.

PrisonAnswer