Skip to comments.One Another (Christian Caucus/Devotion) [For loving mutual edification, building up, encouragement]
Posted on 04/21/2007 3:04:58 PM PDT by Quix
ONE ANOTHER DEVOTIONAL CHRISTIAN CAUCUS:
Knitting a Conundrum: We are coming together in love, and to share the love of Christ, and therefore, even if we disagree, we need to remember to avoid things that are not said kindly and in love. Each of us holds our beliefs because we do it for the love of Christ, and even if you donât accept the conclusion of a person, honor it by not saying harsh or hurtful things because itâs done to honor Christ.
Kind and respectful discourse. Avoid words that you know will cause a kneejerk reaction. If a person uses terminology that seems wrong to you, ask them to define it the way they use it, and accept the fact that it might be used differently than you use it. Together we can work on ways of discussing our love of Christ in a language we all understand.
Above all, treat others like fellow lovers of Jesus.
ONE ANOTHER DEVOTIONAL CHRISTIAN CAUCUS:
We construe that to meanâABSOLUTELY NOTHING PERSONALLY NEGATIVE will be posted to another FREEPER Christian.
Generic Biblical points, MINOR, essential comments about flaws of generic groups of Christians MIGHT--with hopefully rare exception--MIGHT be allowed but are NOT to be the focus or emphasis of this thread.
We seek the awesome possibility that this thread could be an overwhelmingly positive example of:
We call and challenge ourselves and other BELIEVERS IN CHRIST AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR to respond to each ONE ANOTHER as posted for that day as though delivered from the hand or mouth of our Lord and Savior directly that day at the moment of first reading it.
By respond, we mean to prayerfully ponder itâFIRSTâTHEN type.
Ask The Lord where in oneâs life HE would like to see that expressed more fully, earnestly, Spirit-led-ly, routinely.
Ask The Lord where in the FR Religion Forum network of RELATIONSHIPS it might be better expressed more faithfully as unto The Lord.
Share the resulting Spirit-born insights as led on the thread.
< If The Lord reminds one of where one has done well with that ONE ANOTHER to good effect in an individualâs life for The Kingdom and their relationship with Godâsharing that in a humble, edifying way could be helpful.
Perhaps most redemptive would be a walking out of that ONE ANOTHER in a growthful, amplified way ON THE THREAD WITH ANOTHER FREEPER BELIEVER(S) with whom one has been less than ideally Christian in threads past.
Above all, let this thread more than any other priorâ BE A VIVID EXAMPLE OF THE WORLD KNOWING WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER!
1. Anything which arises out of our flesh natureâespecially with a gritch, jab, tweak attachedâparticularly one designed to leave the other person one down and us one up.
2. Anything designed to/out of any motivation to shove our presumed saintliness and saintly perspective down anyone elseâs, everyone elseâs throat.
3. Anything which would detract from, sabotage the goal of a mutually supportive; mutually loving, mutually edifying CHRISTIAN CAUCUS thread. Anything UNloving.
1. Show ourselves and the world that we ARE CHRISTIANS by our LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. If the flesh is weak, ASK GOD for more umph in the love department before finishing typing and hitting POST.
2. Build other posters up; edify; encourage; clarify; support; affirm; BE KIND; be gentle; . . . be CHRISTLIKE in word, tone, deed.
3. Word things as you might during your most fervent courtship--to a young gal/man you were hoping to marryâi.e. attractively, winsomely, invitingly, maturely, responsibly--LOVINGLY.
A visit to the dictionary is never wasted :-).
However, the phrase “vain repetition,” especially in the context used by Quix, is commonly used to denigrate some of the traditional devotions of Catholic and Orthodox Christians. While I don’t attribute any animus to Quix, I think one of the points of the “One Another” Christian Caucus is to remind all of us to think several times about the words and phrases we often use without sufficient thought.
We can see in the verse from Matthew’s Gospel that Jesus identifies the problem with the prayers of the pagans as, “they think they shall be heard for their much speaking.” If any of us thinks our prayers will be evaluated for their length (or brevity, or emotionalism, or eloquence), then we’ve lost touch with the One to whom we’re praying.
Our prayers will be heard (favorably) if we love God ... and we love God, as the verse today reminds us, if we love our neighbor. Is it “vain repetition” if your spouse or child says, “I love you!” many times? Surely not, unless they do nothing but say it, while not acting in loving ways.
I will receive your exhortation prayerfully, Dear Sister.
I was not throwing rocks at others any more than myself. I think it’s a hazard to all of us. Whether it’s The Lord’s Prayer or another prayer of our own construction that we’ve found to be powerfully worded, we are prone to repeating such as some sort of magical mantra—which it’s not—cannot be.
Prayer is to be dialogue, conversation with God. When it is vainly repeated as a vending machine sort of thing, it is less than prayer and less than maximally effective, imho.
I’ll go back and read that post. But my memory of writing it is that I was convicted of such when I wrote it. So I wrote it that way. I suppose I could have written it as merely my problem.
I had no desire to tweak or offend others. Sorry.
Hearty handshake all around! And I agree, we can easily fall into “many words,” and not enough love, in our relationship with the Lord as well as with other people.
(Nudge in the ribs to me, too :-).
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BTW, Have been to such points in my life at least several times.
May The God of All Comfort be with you tangibly in all the ways you most need.
I hope that’s more helpful. Thanks.
If we use it as a magical formula, then it falls into the vain repetition category.
Now here’s a historical example:
in the pagan Roman tradition, the prayers WERE considered magical. If you made one mistake in the wording or action, you had to start the ritual from beginning until you got it right.
Today, there are people who think the magic is in the phrasing. This Jesus was teaching wasn’t the case. But Jewish people did use set prayers. Jesus would have grown up saying them himself. And even people who don’t officially use pre-written prayers often pray pretty much the same prayer over and over again, especially in public prayer.
The vain repetition comes in when it’s no longer the vehicle for communication with God, but becomes a creature itself, where you think if I say X, Y will happen.
A good example of the difference can be found in our favorite hymns. Or the Psalms. We sing them over and over, and they mean something, and we lift up our hearts to heaven with them. They are prayers, too, supplications, praise, longing for God. We use them over and over again, but we don’t think they are magic. But they still become the vehicle for our communication with God.
God is not Santa Claus, and we can’t get God to do what we want by our fomulas, but for me, the 23rd psalm will always be a declaration of my trust in God. And the most common prayer on my lips any more is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us.
Anytime I can talk about Jesus...that's a good thing.
Now, Praise God Again for our new family member!
Excellent. What I meant to say, only better!
I understand that this post is mostly for us. But, aren't we to show love to those in our society who are not Christians? Alec Baldwin for example. PLEASE DON'T MISUNDERSTAND, his phone message to his daughter was wrong and must be addressed. And, there is nothing, NOTHING, that I agree with him politically on,But I have heard nothing but scorn and berating of him publicly. I even heard Sean Hannity say that he "hates" Alec Baldwin.
I just think that this could be an opportunity for us to witness and share the loving Gospel of Jesus Christ with him and not "cast the first stone" at him.
Your opinion please?
We are supposed to hate the sin and love the sinner, the same way Jesus did.
It does get tricky saying things in good ways. We hate what the jihadis do, and what they plan to do for us. We hate their actions, their hatred of us. But if we burn with hot hate at them personally, and not their actions, we can lose sight of the fact that God loves all his children.
Luke chapter six is my guide on this. If we only love those who love us, how does that make us different than sinners? Jesus asks.
27: “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28: bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
29: To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
30: Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.
31: And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
32: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33: And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34: And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35: But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.
36: Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
38: give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
But Lord, it can be a difficult road to walk, and I haven’t figured out all the nuances, except Jesus seems to encourage us to err on the side of generosity than the other.
Nor do I believe it’s a schmaltzy feel-good love he’s talking about. Or that we have the obligation to let the people who hate us kill us just because they want to. But it does require seeing each person as a child of God and acting accordingly.
I’m still working on this one.
A very difficult road to walk. You're right also about the "feel-good" love. I think that's one of the worst traps that we can fall into. I guess I'm just looking at this as an opportunity for witnessing and not for 'shameing'.
Everything we do is an opportunity to witness, to some degree or another. In my little rose garden I’ve been working so hard at, there is a cross and a statute of the Archangel Michael (not one of the cutesy, looks like a victorian lady angels.)
This is my quiet witness to all the passers by (and there are a lot - it’s on the path from the elementary school) that someone here is a believer.
Showing your faith as a matter of fact, normal integral part of your life that motivates how you act in care, and faith and love is often a good constant witness.
It’s amazing how many little ways we can witness. Some of it is witnessing that God matters. Some of it is witnessing how much God is a part of our lives. Some of it is reaching out with prayer and kindness. With God seen as a negative, sometimes just letting God be seen in a positive is the first step. These things often open the door to a way to share more deeply.
This is exactly my point...you are so right.
Unquestionably true. However, WileyPink's example points out to me how we can be just as likely to hate the sinner, instead of the sin! For a person we like, we'll excuse actions that we roundly condemn in a person we don't like.
I'd be hard put to find anything positive to say about Alec Baldwin, except that I thought he was pretty good in "The Hunt for Red October," (in which the world's three most attractive actors also starred). But I don't think any of us believes that conservatives are never verbally abusive to their children.
In summary, if "we" (anybody) "hate" Alec Baldwin, it's probably not because of this particular incident, but because we've identified him as "not us," and therefore available to hate.
(Did that make any sense at all?)
(Did that make any sense at all?)
I sure am glad I have y'all. You say what I mean so much better than I ever could.
And that’s one of the traps we have to avoid.
Jesus said basically, there is no such a think as “not us.”
That’s the part that’s hard!