Chris, I was just over at Watchman and reading today's article, and the bottom lines really blessed me. Actually the whole thing did, but what he said at the bottom really touched the 'GUILT' that plagues me for being 'HUMAN'.
I don't know if you want to go read it, but it was this one http://www.watchman.net/articles/infinite.html
Chris, I don't know how many "Forums" you looked over before you signed on here, but I would guesstimate, that I've viewed probably close to at least 25 of them.
After getting off the internet, for almost 2 years from and because of Forum burn-out ... I never thought I'd be a Forum-person again.
Then, by accident, looking for T.A. Sparks, I found SI.
At first, I just downloaded like crazy, with zero intent to sign on. Then I got sorta lonely for fellow believers to talk to during my long days alone.
Well, after viewing all the ones I mentioned, I watched over this one for a while too, before I made the leap of faith to join on.
Can I tell you from all that I've seen and investigated by watching Forums operate closely and from having been a Moderator on a Discernment Forum ... that SI is like the difference between tartar sause and tabasco sause in the forum world out there.
If you expect people to be "perfect", then that means that you think that you are.
Now please don't take offense when I say this... because I address myself exactly this way every day of my life.
And that's is why those closing statements of Chip's message today lifted that heavy feeling I've had lately of my lack of constant Christ-likeness.
I'm not Jesus. I pray each day, that I would move slower and in His Spirit more and more ... but then the Lord will come back with Phil 3:9-14 ... and I see, that if Paul said that he wasn't all there yet, than who on earth am I ?
If you tell me that even Paul and Barnabus had their rift, then who are any of us to think that we will always be so Christ-like and not jump the gun at others or whatever we do. And we all do make mistakes in our posts. All of us.
I used to be much much harder on folks than I am now. I expected folks to act like "Saints" ... but then He took me away from everything out there to show me what man really is. Me equally included, because ALL HEARTS ARE THE SAME.
They think they're humble and mild mannered and will proclaim that they are ... but right there, just the utterance of such things, is pride.
I have my faults enough. I have not 'attained', yet only my God knows how badly I want to please Him and the fear of Him that I carry.
Only God knows why I stay late on here at nite.
Only God knows each of our hearts too Chris.
I pray each and every day for each person on here, even if I bump heads with them, I feel the pain of His Love for them inside of me and it is something you feel in your heart as a pain in there. Love hurts and it always will, until He returns. If our love for others doesn't "hurt", then it's not His Love.
But anyways ... the test of love is to keep coming back for more.
Maybe it may take a day or so to recover from someone's rough statements to us, but if we truly love them, we'll be back because we won't be able to help it.
To leave because of "hurt feelings" is "Self" again.
To leave because we're "misunderstood" is self again.
To leave because we don't agree is .....
To demand perfection out of any of us is wrong.
We get better by rubbing against each other, getting to those rough edges that we all have.
And if we think we don't have them, we're in trouble already.
As far as Doctrine is concerned. I only ask that folks provide a truckload of Scripture to back it up. Ha.
I don't agree with contending over minor things ... only essentials to salvation and growth and to give heed to Christ's Word to "watch".
If someone wants to argue with me on those points, that's O.K. with me, as long as they only argue with Scripture and not "I think".
I think that's fair and I don't think we can say we are not here to discuss Doctrine, because if you look up that word in your e-sword or Strongs, of how many times Jesus and the rest used that word, which only means "Teaching", than we are saying, we don't want the N.T. Teachings discussed here.
But to go on and on about the offensives we've suffered on here ... and each of us have, in our own ways, is not going to grow us at all.
We need to see that Rom 8: 28 is FOR 29.
Who cares if we feel "looked down upon". Again that's just "self".
If we're dead, who cares.
Tomorrow we should come back for more of it, if it'll help you and me to die to that.
Welp, enough from me. I'm heading back to Chip's for a refill and refreshing and tomorrow I know things will look brighter.
One bad day is nothing. I can learn from my mistakes from this day and see where my weak points are and what triggers certain reactions from "self".
I feel I failed miserably yesterday, but then here came Chip's email with hope. Most of my depression comes from feelings of failure ... so I'm trying to trust my Savior more and more to do the work He's promised in His Word to complete or accomplish, because I sure am hungering and thirsting to not be such a sensitive, reactive clump of clay.
I like that Zac Poonen guy lately too.
So, when I'm sick in spirit, from my own reactions to folks or their reaction to me, I go on over to those type messages and get my Intravenous therapy (as I call it) and pray tomorrow, we'll all love and accept each other more.
If we don't, well, there's always the next day.
But to expect perfection out of everyone of us here or anywhere else, well, what can I say.
His Love to you.