I can’t help but wonder how many blessings we block by living by the “world’s rules” instead of Kingdom principles?
I believe we are just used to operating under world principles: how the music and people around us influence or how we were raised, what our friends say etc. We often get blinded by what our human, carnal, mind ration as “good”, that when we step on to the spiritual side of things, we don’t know how to act! And we then wonder why our “worldly good” isn’t spiritual gain!
I was talking with a friend a while ago, who is sort of similar to me, always wanting to help people and be nice. I told him, maybe your spiritual gift is the gift of encouragement because he always want to ‘help’ people. But I also told him “You can give, give and give to people, but don’t let your personality of being ‘nice’ drain you to the point you are doing and not God.”
I love the scripture describing that everything is permissible, but everything isn’t profitable. As we see in 1 Corinthians, Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth that the laws of the land make things permissible on what we ‘can’ do, but Kingdom laws does not permit everything:
1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP)
All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].
I like it when it says, some things are helpful but not constructive to your character or spiritual life. I think this way for the given example above, being ‘nice’ or ‘lending a hand’ all the time to a particular person may not construct their character or edify their spiritual life. Doing this, we can become their enabler or their personal ‘genie’. We can then assume that they won’t rely on God as much as they rely on us. Then in turn, we become their ‘god’.
We are living in a world now where people are ‘touchy’ and get ‘offended’ easily. Feelings get hurt more often times than not. The world says “We don’t need to hurt people’s feelings!” But, we have to ask, well where did those feelings come from? For instance, this is why we have ministers reaching the words, but not preaching what it means, out of fear they will ‘offend’ someone. These type of ministers and pastors want church ‘goers’ instead of Kingdom ‘doers’, so they allow people to be comfortable living in sin, preaching an inspirational message, instead of a true word to bring about conviction.
[As a side note: To be personal, my best growth spurts spiritually came out of hurt feelings and offenses. I learned hurt feelings is an opportunity to grow spiritually. (A choice.) I learned to be more and more conscious of arresting my thoughts, figuring out if what I’m feeling or doing aligns with the Word of God. I also learned to stop reacting out of my feelings. Moreover, learned when I am offended to open up to God my cares, and allow Him to show me what I need to work on, and what I should to continue to do. Someone who never has had their feelings hurt, is someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to grow, especially spiritually. (Some of the best ministry comes out of hurt and offended places.)]
But the world says “Oh, be nice! Help someone in need all the time! The world says “Don’t hurt peoples feelings!” The world says, “You can go ahead and do it, it’s protected by the law!” The world says “Do what makes you happy!”
The Bible offends people [non-believers], period. Why? When we line up how we feel and what we want to the Word of God, most of the time we get disappointed… That’s why we don’t read the bible. We we want the bible to fit around our lives and the way we live. I remember I offended a ‘friend’ a while back by going to her ex birthday party HE invited ME to. And not only did she say a few bad things about me, and ended our friendship, the rest of the girls in the circle left my life too! When I line this ‘worldly’ [you shouldn’t have gone to her ex birthday party] man made rule up with the Word of God, it isn’t justified! But the carnal mind will justify it.
As spiritual believers, we have to check (and double check) ourselves, our feelings and our actions and make sure they line up with Gods true Word before we try to justify what we do. As believers, we have to go back to Isaiah 55:8. ‘I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. God’s Decree.’ Isaiah 55:8 (The Message) God’s ways are not our ways. The way He thinks is beyond our thinking. Even as much, believers versus non-believers should be in a similar retrospect. If we are still doing things and thinking the same way as non-believers, we won’t be able to get spiritual results. God is pleased with obedience to Him, even if it may push a wrong button to someone. A wrong button in the carnal mind may be the right button to push a person closer to Christ.
In everything, however, Paul preaches about doing everything in love. Our intentions should be pure with everything we do. We need to have compassion to those who operate & react out their carnal mind (flesh), because, yes we were once there too.