Why you shouldn't listen
Consider this as me no longer hitting the pause button on this project. When I say "project" I am meaning the use of my voice on this platform of a blog. Not just a blog, but a pathway to respond and pose real questions, views, and passions that have captured my heart by God.
You see, I had stopped writing and posting because there have been voices from people that have one aim in my life, to break me down and cast doubt in my heart that I have a purpose that honors worth pursuing. It seems to come with the territory as a pastor that there are critics and people who seek to twist every good word or effort to edify a narrative that binds one into a false reality.
Truth be told, reader, I have been bullied in manners that make any sensible person shake their head at the treatment my family and I have received in the effort to love, serve, and point the best we can towards living for the risen Lord who is to surpass all efforts and credibility.
There is real pain in this role of loving, serving, and all the while be a work in progress as God refines my own heart and character. There seems to be an imbalance in the equation where much grace is expected but very little is given.
This is not a post that tries to put myself in the victim stance, but rather in a posture that is declaring that I have made a choice to not listen to those voices that go beyond "I hope this helps you in the future" to just straight cruelty and harassment. Consider those efforts now worthless and actually hurting no one but your own view of what God hopes to do in your own life.
Many of my actions and words go through a filter of discerning if this will help or hurt the church, the body of Christ. In my own flawed nature, I have realized real grace by God as I learn what is a benefit and what was an undeveloped effort with a good intention to love, live, and serve in this community of mine.
I am no longer listening to the temptation to be silent because of criticism, but to realize that the "loudest nay sayers usually occupy the cheapest seats" (thank you Babe Ruth). God keeps speaking to me and today he is calling me to encourage anyone who may read this to realize to not let those critical voices be what drowns out the Fathers call to you.
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You shouldn't listen to these voices because it does one thing that is not suitable for a saint, to be paralyzed in the work of the Kingdom. If there is some reason why you have put down your own cross and stopped pursuing living, speaking, working, growing to express Christ in your life, then please consider this as a sign that you are listening to lesser voices that speak a narrative other than "Beloved" to you.
If by chance you are a critic, then my hope is that people will meet your worst efforts by out gracing, out serving, and out loving your best efforts to lock others into your hurtful worldview. Either you have forgotten or never understood that if you are a follower of Christ, you are refusing his work in your life by subjecting others to your ability to love and forgive. You only can do so much and therefore, you will alway be disappointed by others until you learn the riches of the life living for the work of the cross. This enables all of us to have grace upon grace, and mercy upon mercy. I pray God is gracious to you to illuminate your mind to who is your foe and who is actually your brother and sister.
Your Life is Not Over, if you have been criticized to the point paralysis enters into your heart. God is able to break through every wall. Lay down these fears before Christ and he will reveal in time that your life will continue in spite of the hurtful words or actions of others. For we live for not their approval or worth, we live for the one who calls us to speak, live, and model the life of Christ in every season. Be unashamed for joyful that God redeems or worst and best efforts that fall short of his glory.
Keep Looking Up!