Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dirty Laundry

Those of us in our mid-life years will readily remember the Don Henley song, "Dirty Laundry". (In fact, you probably had to sing the title in your head when you read it!) There is a phrase in the song that states, "Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down; Kick 'em when they're stiff, kick 'em all around." Well, after a meeting I had with an old friend (old as in 'it's been a long time, old' not, old as in 'aged') I started thinking about how we, as Christians, do just that.

It's sad how we, who have been forgiven of ALL our sins by the blood of Jesus, have such a tendency to 'shoot our wounded', or 'kick 'em when they're down'. Why do we feel that we need to continue to hold someone else's sins against them, when Christ specifically tells us that we need to love each other as He loves us. If He can forgive them - why can't we?

It really amazes me that we can get so self-righteous and pious that we think that because someone may have made some mistakes, that seem so much bigger than our own, that they are somehow not worthy of forgiveness, reconciliation or friendship. It's especially laughable (not 'funny laughable', but rather 'sad laughable') that we will hold their shortcomings against them, even when they didn't do anything to us, personally.

Over the years, I have had several really close friends who have, for various and sundry reasons, gone through divorces. Now, the 'D' word may be taboo in many of our SBC churches - but it is not the unpardonable sin! In the cases of most of my friends, there were irreconcilable differences that prevented them from remaining together as spouses - but over the years, they have worked out their differences and have been able to mend friendships with each other. Here's the catch, though ... even though they have been able to forgive each other - friends, aquantances, ministerial leaders and others STILL hold the divorce against one or both of them!

How ridiculous is that!! I mean - if the two parties involved can forgive and move on - the rest of the world needs to get-a-grip and let it go! Life is too short and precious to 'black-ball' someone because of mistakes they have made. We need to cherish the friendships that God has given us - and realize that He is still on His throne, and is still in control.

Let's make it a goal in 2009 to mend relationships, reconcile differences and move forward with the Great Commission. As the old saying goes, "It's impossible to move forward if we keep looking in the rear view mirror."


  1. I call it the Christian condition. We have been conditioned since "spiritual birth" to keep away from sin and sinful things to include people. We even read the passages of Jesus teaching and His walking with non believers yet we disregard His words and insert our own. Our own theology and belief system that just might make Jesus blood dry up instead of cover the saints with its cleansing power.

    I have seen the power of God. I have been there, I have first hand knowledge and others that will testify to what I say. I have seen the grace of God first hand. His healing. His forgiveness, His love. Yet with all that has been seen, all that has been provided by His crucifiction, the Church and its Saints still try to shun one who has sined. The phrase, "all have sined" seems to be far from their lips.

    I have seen the church push out fallen Christians, sometimes with force, most of the time by way of excile. I have seen people turn away one in need. Wasn't that our calling? Was it not what we are called to do? Part of our great commission is to go out and tell the gospel to everyone. Did we forget what that gospel is. Its not just to win souls, but also to feed the hungry, cloth the clothless, comfort those in need. Who else needs God's love and grace than those who are not following Christ or those who have "fallen from grace"...that term by the way is a modern man's term. God's grace covers sinners. It was God's grace that sent His only Son to die and give us eternal life - For sinners! There is not one person without sin, NOT one! We are all sinners (current tense) saved by grace. Its not we were once sinners, or we all sinned and now live in harmony with God. We are all sinners!

    Pastor D - you have found a truth in your words. We should not run from the sinners or those that have fallen. We should run toward them as fast as we can. They need us, they want us.

    When christians turn their backs on brothers and sisters in Christ we are turning our backs on the very thing that Jesus has called us to do in the first place. To GO! I am not saying to go into the bar or club. I am saying our call should be to go to the person. Its our call to go to people. You need to let them see you care. That you are concerned. That you will pray with them not about them. That you will listen and not be a talking betty. Don't share what you have learned with others unless you are in fear of their life or the lives of others. Stand by them, they need your friendship. Invite them to church functions, even if they are a member of the church! They may be ashamed and they should be but its not our right or privalage to judge. Its our obligation to pray and to help guide them back to God's mercy seat.

    I leave with these words from a great man of God.

    Creat in me a clean heart oh Lord my God, and renew a right spirit with in me. Cast me not away from thy presence oh Lord, take not thy holy spirit from me, Create in me a clean heart oh Lord, and renew a right spirit with in me.

    David was a man after God's own heart but he sinned, today we would call it adultry. Yet he still found favor with God. How would we treat David today in the church. How have you treated a David that you know? Thus endeth the sermon for today. Faith, Hope, Love. And the greatest of these is Love...

  2. One thing that needs to be remembered is that even though one is forgiven, one must live with the consequences of the action(sin).

    One of the challenges is that we (christians) do shoot our wounded, but we also tend to white wash the consequences of our actions thus diluting God's perfect will.

    David was a man after God's own heart, but he did have to live with the consequences of his actions.

    I beleive their are scriptural consequences of divorce or even a poorly managed family that we as christians do not honor, thus diluting God's word and making it not as pure.


  3. I agree that there are certain consequences that come with sin ... and I am in no way saying that we should completely disregard the fact of divorce in light of God's Word.

    I just don't think that a divorce should banish one to the status of social leper - in or out of the Body of Christ.

    Also - I am not condoning divorce. The Bible speaks against it - with a very, very fine line for the acceptability of it. I'm simply trying to say that those who have personally experienced divorce should not be thrown away like yesterday's trash.

    Thanks for the comments ... keep 'em coming!