To the church and anyone online that might have stumbled upon this blog, together with all his holy people, I am thankful for how God has set you apart for his glory through the grace of Jesus Christ. Your lives have been made righteous by his blood, and your faith has been ever growing in the times of testing. I am encouraged by your devotion and persistence, and admonish you to continue working out your salvation. But fellow Christians, let me just say, that you sometimes, can seriously be so annoying.
At my 7-month mark, I think I can safely admit by witnessing the church community that these are 7 things I am so guilty of but I really think Christians alike should stop doing, too:
1. Stop saying you’ll pray for someone, and then you never do.
By this time, I’ve noticed that when someone asks me to pray for them, I usually seldom to never actually do. My response in group chats to a request is always, “Praying for you!” Really Julz, you are? Maybe you’ve jotted down in your prayer notebook to include that as one of your points for quiet time later, but maybe you’re like me, who…just forgets. I think it’s important, friends, that when a brother or sister asks us to intercede we should stop what WE’RE doing, and find two minutes to lift up their concerns to the Lord. Not only have we actually prayed for them, we took time out of our day.
2. Stop making spiritual comments ALL. THE. TIME.
Or quoting the Bible every chance you get. We get it, you always read the Bible. And good! But I’ll be honest, I’ve been told that there were times someone desperately needed my help and they couldn’t believe they were being sermoned at. And it’s true! I tend to feel inadequate too when a Christian goes, “Well, it says in the Bible…” Hey, I want to hear what the Bible says, believe me. But how about some solid advice ACCORDING to the Bible? Because if the Word has truly been invested into our hearts, anything we say will have the knowledge and wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Dropping a verse at every person’s woes and then standing up and OH MY GOSH, saying “I’ll pray for you,” just isn’t as sincere as lending an ear or hand. Your memorization of Scripture will go a long way if you can apply it more so than recite it. No one likes a spiritual smartypants!
3. Stop telling people how to live their lives.
Because let’s face it, you never had to go through anything quite as sinful or severe as them, huh? We got to stop doing this guys.
I mean it’s okay to judge a brother’s circumstances and decisions appropriately, but unless you’ve taken that plank out of your eye…yeah. You know recently, I kind of got hurt but convicted at the same time when I joyfully reported to a sister about how happy I was for a common friend we have who came to my small group for discipleship. You know what her response was? “Tell her she needs to stop going out and drinking.”
True. I mean, yeah, true. We all should probably stay away from the night scene and booze too, but you’ll never know a person’s struggles until you walk a day in their shoes. Maybe you’ve been delivered from a certain kind of lifestyle and no longer see desire in it but some friends are still fighting their way out. It’s not to justify it but the best we can do is pray for them to fully surrender their bondages and be there for them. We can’t dictate what they should and should not do. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in gentle correction and calling things out kindly, but anything said without love is just a waste of breath, and it really makes you look judge-y.
4.Stop debating over being a Calvinist or an Arminian.
I got a joke. An athlete, a vegan, and a Calvinist walked into a room. Guess how I know? They told me in the first five minutes.
Now for some reading this, if you don’t quite understand these terms, these are schools of thought within theology that yeah, I think you should be aware of, but no, I don’t think you should stress over. It just came to my attention that it’s frequently debated about and I noticed how big of a deal it was to certain groups. Like an almost, I’m right, you’re wrong, life or death situation.
A lot of the times, we get so focused on our love of theology that we don’t see it’s drawing us away from our love for God. And that’s sad. And honestly, it causes a lot of division in the church. My prayer for my fellow Christians is to always be gospel-forward. And I really do encourage you to study the WHATS, but not so much that you forget the WHO.
5. Stop saying your church is better or “right”
“Man, that church that speaks in tongues, they’re just…weird.”
“Man, that church is really strict about a lot of things, I feel like I’m going to a seminary.”
We can all learn a thing or two from each other, right? Wherever God has led you to attend and possibly serve, I strongly believe that’s where he’s planted you and that’s where he intends for you to grow. So many churches nowadays compete for the bigger congregation, the cooler worship, the better series, the more “correct” doctrine. If you’ve been attending and serving for a while, you probably know this and have made your choice as to where you fit in. If not, I suggest you church hop. You will see a lot of similarities, but you will also see a huge amount of differences. And guess what? I really don’t know that there’s a right or wrong, except for the maybe extreme. So go where God tells you, and for those of us Christians who are already planted, please stop selling your church like it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
6. To the girls, stop tripping out over being a Proverbs 31 woman.
Oh man, I’m going to say it, I’m going to say it…here it goes: You’re not a servant. You weren’t simply created to do a man’s bidding. Your essence isn’t only to birth kids and take care of the household. You are some of this, sure, as gender roles go, but you are so much more. I am so burdened by sisters who just want to give up their dreams so they can find a good, Christian husband and iron his shirts and make him dinner. Praise God for your heart of service, but by golly, if you have a vocal gift and powerful calling, please stop being brainwashed by this idea that you can’t teach, that you can’t lead, that you can’t have a platform to advance His kingdom. And if you truly think marriage is going to keep you from fulfilling that, revel in blessed singleness.
The right man will also support you and God will make you ready for those things in his time. A Proverbs 31 woman is strong, honey. Let’s remember too, that this is a book of wisdom…and it’s just not realistic to do all she does in one day. She’s a representative of many women in different callings and of different seasons.
6 1/2. Stop looking for Boaz
You know who’s better than God’s best?
7. Stop being a Facebook Christian.
There is such a beautiful thing as zeal…then there’s being overly zealous and misplaced. I see this primarily, in those new to the faith. It’s awesome dude, really, but sometimes I cringe and want to throw out a lasso. A Facebook Christian just HAS to make a “Christian” comment on everything, HAS to make sure you just read his latest devotion, HAS to show you all the Hillsong she listens to…and again, these are great things but they’re not necessary all the time. Facebook, IG, Twitter are useful platforms in sharing the gospel but they can also be very misconstrued by others. We can’t just put Christ out there for face value, and expect people to get it. It goes so much deeper than that. If social media is the only way of of expressing your faith, there’s something wrong, my friend. Silence, is a beautiful way to respond. There’s wisdom in it, too. But your walk doesn’t match your talk, this is going to sound harsh, you’re insulting God. Plain and simple.
I know that was a pretty heavy load to drop but writing this is just in the hopes that we as Christians can learn to be a little, less annoying. Legalism, spiritual pride, unloving knowledge can get really, really ugly. And I pray we always come to our knees first before presenting ourselves to the world. Grace and peace, brothers and sisters in Christ.