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There is a difference in words like think, believe, on, in, cost, gift, no, yes, give, take, cruelty, mercy, sounds obvious and kind of silly. Surprisingly it is because of the little words we have so many different teachings and understandings of Doctrines in scripture. Sure nuances, tense, double entendre, place or location, writing styles, double negative, physical/Spiritual, figurative, and metaphorical, etc. all have something to do with the problem too. Word meanings and their relationship to other words in a sentence, paragraph, and chapter cause problems. How complete ones knowledge of Scripture and understanding of God add to the problem.
Thinking, reason, and logic play a part of the process. For instance I made a statement a member rightly called me on, I dont think I have validated the statement with scripture and I admitted it. Motive was a factor as it can be for many other problems we have in determining meaning and understanding of scripture. Where we shouldnt mind being questioned for correction or further understanding/clarification and/or revision others are affronted and see accusation. That reaction could be from protecting one or more of the four words mentioned here from a right/wrong standpoint.
Interesting thing about God is He never treats us as if we are stupid or dumb, He expects us to be able to think and reason. He expects us to learn and grow by study and living. He doesnt expect us to do this always alone but together, by comparing and testing against each other and the Word for accuracy and discrepancies. We are not to take any person on their word of scripture as truth without review and agreement. This is the path followed in scripture, Paul brought first to a few of the twelve and then to the whole body of Elders what he had learned and been preaching for review, accuracy, and approval.
There are three factors I haven t mentioned yet and perhaps the biggest reasons for our troubles in the Body of Christ. It is important to agree on the foundation teachings of the Gospel of Christ. But culture and life in general will keep us from agreeing on every little issue. Eat meat not eat meat, Sunday services or Saturday services, dress suit or blue jeans, drink after dinner or not, I was baptized by, they were baptized by. Too many to list in our everyday living but these are not factors of being a member of the Body of Christ nor factors to question ones salvation.
Jesus said the Father will send His Spirit, then I will be with you, then and the Holy Spirit fell upon them. The Holy Spirit has been misunderstood and taught incomplete or not taught by so many for so long many of todays believers dont understand the simplest scriptural teaching by Him and of Him. The Apostles debated varying thoughts and understandings even argued as a group but in the end agreeing as one in the Spirit. Stephen and others were known to be with God and of a right and full standing by teaching and evidence of the Spirit of God in their lives. They evidenced the fruits and gift/s of the Spirit in their daily walk through life. I am not a teacher so its best I leave any more said to those that are.
This brings us to the final subject in this incomplete look at our many problems today, Respect.
With God there is no if, but, or, He deserves and requires respect. In marriage it is required to have a good and fulfilled one, as in the Body of Christ it is required we have respect for one another especially for our appointed leaders by agreement in Spirit.
You can disagree and still have respect for the other as you can agree and have disrespect for the other. Sometimes respect is to easily lost or to easily gained. One of my many problems before I came to Christ was I had absolutely no respect for anything or anyone. Now I have a short fuse for those that dont show respect to others no matter what their station in life. Likewise, if you dont show respect to others you often dont get respect from others.
I thought I was done
One more thing to add, criticism. To be a critic takes no knowledge, no skill, no expertise anyone can do it about anything or anyone. It is much like gossip no evidence is needed no proof must be shown but the damage is done all the same. I have seen the phrase "so called Christian s" among others, who of any one of us is worthy to make such claims. Do we know the heart or even the thinking of another much less of ourselves most of the time?
This is a sly one we are all guilty of and it wisp by without even knowing.
Ill share one thought of writing that holds up, unlike when speaking, a writer, especially untrained, will speak from the depths of their heart not even realizing whats been said and how its been said until another reads it and comments. Our printed words have meaning, velocity, and impact value.
So ask yourself do my words encourage, uplift, build up the body of Christ. Offer direction, correction or some equal value. Before jumping in on correction of another in scripture or deed, ask, do I really know the scripture of what this person is saying or do I just think I do, are they writing from personal experience of a lesson of something learnt and understood. If something of their life is being shared how, why and what are they saying, is there something to learn or can I further what is shared here by my own lessons or experience.
Refrain from criticism just because it may not agree with your own belief structure or understanding, or knowledge, or experience. More can be done and shared with five good words than five bad paragraphs.
From one still enjoying learning, growing and experiencing the doing of the will of God through Christ our Lord.