Prayers not Punches

“Car!, Car!, Car!” echoes followed by uproarious laughter.

What are you doing?” I asked.

Oh, we are playing auto attack.”

I glance in my rear-view mirror for only a moment and catch a glimpse of the smiling faces searching the horizon for more cars.

It’s a punching game, Mom.” states the oldest.

I think to myself only a car full of boys would find so much pleasure in a game like this.

Excited outbursts continue as we traveled the long winding country road until we reached the interstate overpass.

Ouch, you punched too hard!” said the youngest angrily trying to fight back tears. Now what once was fun and games has turned into a passionate debate that leaves feelings hurt and relationships in need of mending.

I read an article recently about how the church is full of wounded warriors. God’s family is in this state not because of an attack from the outside world but because of the way we, in the church, choose to show a lack of love in dealing with one another.

If we are not careful, we begin to play a game very similar to the one my children do. Only we are not searching for cars. We are searching for faults.

We think we are probably only examining fruit. But, fruit examination is suppose to be a tool to help us determine where a person stands in Christ. We must be careful not to go from prayerful fruit examiners to life inspectors looking for any reason to withhold our blessings and state our opinions. God’s Word is more important than our thoughts on any matter.

One spiritual punch after another and before long we have broken down a soul. A soul that desperately needs the love of Jesus. The world is full of gut punches and right hooks. But, God’s people are to use a different standard because it is He who has redeemed us all.

We are in different places spiritually. Those more spiritually mature need to nurture the babes in Christ. Is it difficult? You bet. But don’t’ forget we were once those babes too. Some of us were full of opinions and ideas that didn’t align with God’s word either. But, someone prayed, encouraged us, and never gave up hope that God would bring us to the proper understanding of His commands.

Don’t throw punches at all the things you don’t agree with in anothers life. Instead have courage and be willing to live out the example of what God wants a Christian to be. Lift the situation up in prayer. The more frustrated we are the more we should be talking to God about the situation –God not everyone else. And while you’re at it ask God to help you lift the sprit of those around you. We can encourage without condoning sin. Jesus did it. And if he has the power so do we.

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.                 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13.