Do you drive away others with your chains?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
February 26, 2009
Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. (Philippians 1:14)
Does your life in Christ inspire others to live for Him? When others see your life lived for the Lord do they want what you have and do they want to tell others about it? This is what was occurring with Paul. Simply because of his spirit and attitude as he was bound in chains and a prisoner for telling others about Jesus! I suspect that far too many “Christians” live lives in the Lord that others have no clue what they believe or if they do know, they want to run away from them as fast as possible!
I am reminded of an old Monty Python skit where the Knights of the Round Table on their quest for the Holy Grail meet a fierce little white rabbit. They think it will be easily killed but it turns out to be quite a fighter and these “bold” knights run away as fast as they can. This is kind of like how some Christians portray themselves to their fellow believers and the world. Kind of like harmless little bunnies, yet when folks get to know them, they discover just how mean and ornery this sweet little “holy hand grenade” of a Christian truly is and all they want to do is “run away, run away!”
The chains a believer wears because of their faith in Jesus Christ should always inspire others to come to know the Lord. Each link should reflect things like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” A judgmental spirit has no place in the church of the Lord. Holiness is not achieved by trying our best to get rid of offensive things in the lives of others. Holiness is manifested as the believer walks with God and gets rid of those things that offends our Lord that exist in ourselves first! We are to take care of the piece of lumber in our own eye before we even dare mention the insignificant sliver in the eye of another.
How many guards would Paul have won to the Lord if he had continually complained to them about his unjust imprisonment? How many would have seen his chains as unfair if they had heard from him that they were all “carnal pagan heathens”? Never forget that Jesus told the sin-weary world, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Your fellow Christians should be “encouraged” by you “to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly,” not to run away from you as fast as they can or to drive others away from the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God as well. Because of your chains that you wear for the Lord, you should be attracting others to His church and fellowship with Him. Paul did, do you?
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