Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Why are Relationships Important?

Does this post title sound ridiculous? Do you think everyone believes that caring relationships are better than bad relationships? I suppose most people would SAY they embrace and affirm warm, caring relationships but in the real world we don't act that way.

I admit that I often wince when I watch TV political talk shows or listen to radio talk shows. I especially wince when the person that is going on and on is mean spirited and callous. They may think their cruel statements are motivational but they are not.

I am even more upset when I hear or read about people claiming to be Christian Ministers or Christian Leaders whose language and actions are contrary to that which the Bible commands. The Bible clearly says, "Let nothing come out of your mouth that does not build people up." Yet, words from the pulpit are often not up-building or gracious.

I have sometimes tried to encourage my friends with a dragon tongue to change their language about people with whom they disagree. It is a very difficult task but if there is an opening I attempt to share what the Bible says about love, kindness and patience.

I know of one instance when I was successful. A group of us were discussing the Florida man who claimed to be a minister but was threatening to burn a Koran. One commentator quoted the Bible incorrectly to say that Jesus would have killed a Muslim if one had come to Him. I wrote back and mentioned that there were no Muslims until 700 A.D. so suggesting that Jesus had such an attitude toward Muslims was bogus. Second, I mentioned the times that Jesus told us to love our enemies let alone an outsider. The man wrote back and said he was wrong and would never attack Muslims again.

In Matthew 5, Jesus said:

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment.

Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court.

And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

As I read these passages I am struck forcefully by Jesus' warning not to attack another person in anger, bitterness and character assassination. The wages of this kind of sin are still the same today as they were in the time of Jesus.

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