Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lead by example... whether it's through love or offense?

A Daily Portion

Originally written and published August 28, 2009 while I was pastoring and ministering the congregation God had given us at that time.

I wanted to write a little something regarding a topic that I am now seeing more and more in the Body of Christ. I have a very hard time with people who are leading by example in their call, but hurt and offend others with their actions and words... I am talking about sarcasm. It's sad to see how much sarcasm is found in the Body of Christ. Sarcasm may easily be tried to be defined as a literary device, or as a high form of intelligence, but when we look at its root, we find that sarcasm comes from "French or Late Latin; French sarcasme, from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein" and it means "to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer..." All my life I have come across people who are sarcastic in everything they say, and we are basically told that, 'oh that's just their way of being'... or, 'oh, it's a clever way of telling people truths without them even realizing what you are doing'... the truth of the matter is, there should be no excuse as to why someone would need to use sarcasm to get a message across to someone else. The Bible teaches us that we should: "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." ~Colossians 4:5-7
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." ~Proverbs 12:18

This leads me to believe that sarcasm lacks wisdom, for if we were wise in the ways the Lord wants us to act and speak, we would do so in authority, in love and to edify, not to tear, pierce, hurt or offend. Why am I writing about this? Because I have had to give this part of my flesh up to the Lord daily. I too, used to be sarcastic, very sarcastic, and was always praised at how "good I was at being sarcastic". I even considered it one of my "strengths". Wow! Now, when I look back, first I realize I need to submit this unto the Lord every day, because the old man would love to come out once in a while... but what I realize even more is that there are many leaders in the Body of Christ who are like this, who speak like this and what's even more scary is that we are training those under our leadership, to speak and act this way!

I just think it's time to reflect on ourselves and consider why we speak the way we do; why we act the way we do; and give it all up to Christ, knowing that when we crucify our flesh, this raw meat of ours that will get us nowhere, we humble ourselves in wanting to be more like Him, like His image! I once read somewhere that we use sarcasm as a defense mechanism due to our own self esteem issues, and when I read that, I got offended. Can you guess why? :) Because it was a truth that hit home... And, as I have become more aware of how sarcasm and hypocrisy work well together, I see it's such a scheming and dangerous spirit that wants to destroy instead of edify and we have allowed it to get into our churches and as teachers and preachers and leaders we are educating our disciples and passing along this negative influence. Instead of just smiling and laughing "with" our leaders who are "aggressive and sarcastic" why don't we begin to lead in example of wisdom and authority we have received through Christ's blood and resurrection on the cross, and through the marvelous power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in each and every one of us? That way we can really begin to be imitators of Christ and be like Him, in His image! I know I have learned my lesson and ask for wisdom every day!

Blessings to all who read this. These are just my thoughts and I hope this serves as a help to others who may be thinking the same as I have.

Pastor Michelle

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
~Ephesians 4:29

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