Feb 6, 2008

fearful tactics - pt 2

I recently had the chance to catch a slice of "The Celebrity Apprentice" (yeah, I'll admit it). One of the "contestants" is actor Stephen Baldwin, known for his recent years of ministry since stepping over the line of faith and becoming a Christian. As to be expected, the show is full of different people who are in some form of the public spotlight - whether they're mildly famous celebrities or simply quirky personalities... some legit, and others "too legit to quit."

In this episode there was some "double agent" stuff happening, causing Donald Trump to ask Stephen if Christians believe it's okay to sabotage others in word or action. Baldwin's response was intriguing... paraphrased here, he said, "I can't speak for any Christian other than myself, and I believe a Christian should not... I would rather have less success and a better name than anything else... I think God is watching us all."

What's most interesting to me about those types of conversations is that they often take place in the infamous "board room," the place where insecurities rise to the surface. Every one in the room wants to look better than the others, and so it seems as though the dominant move is to belittle, look for imperfections to turn into faults, and point fingers until Trump finally says, "You're fired."

This tracks over to a conversation I was a part of this week with some other local pastors. We're gathering for bold prayer and discussion over how God might unify each evangelical church to reach the whole city and region we live in for His glory.

Can you imagine that?
People who denominationally sit on different sides of the same tree - the Cross - realizing that level ground is possible when we choose to work together instead of sabotauge one another.

Yet in the midst of it we all confessed how easy it is to be suspicious of one another. I don't believe any of us actually are, but the temptation is always there... someone says they want to "network" and you find yourself thinking, "I'm not so sure about this. Is this dude 'legit' or 'too legit to quit?'" It's funny how often that has more to do with our own insecurities than with anything biblical.

Which is why it was such a sweet thing for us to all sit down and get that junk out of the way. Once we did it was so much easier to remember why we're here... and why we're not.

Something tells me that reconciliation is a beautiful thing. Oh yeah, it's the Bible...

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (Psalm 133)

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Which raises the real question... what kind of insecurities inside of you tempt you to belittle others and miss out on something real special God is doing? Think about that word for a moment - "belittle." Broken down, it reveals our heart cry as we think about others... "Be little, so that maybe I can be bigger."
  • When have you spent time desigining a thought or creating a symbol or provoking a scenario... so that everyone knows you're smarter/better/"righter" than "them?"

  • How much energy did you spend this week thinking about how crazy someone else is?

  • Did you have any imaginary conversations with someone... where you were winning?

  • Have you recently tried to crush the head of another?

If you're speaking against people you won't take the time to personally sit down with, maybe we should take a cue from the above Scriptures.
And if someone is speaking against you, do what I do and take a cue from this really good one, too.

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. (Song of Solomon 2:15)

5 comments:

David Malouf -- said...

Tony--

Good for you for taking the time and effort to sit on "level ground."

Sadly, I had to take a job that requires this before I started getting a clue.

May God bless your labor here and elsewhere!

David

CL said...

Good thoughts Tony. Last Sunday as we ramped up to the Lent season, I walked us through Luke 18:9-14 where Jesus talks about the tax collector and the pharisee in the temple praying. There are many similarities in this message, much like what you are saying. (Btw, the message was called "On The Level")

David Moss said...

A couple weeks ago I was led to Psalm 133 as I was wrestling with God over some stuff. Seeing it here again, in this context, just affirms what He was speaking to me that day. Thanks for sharing...and know that God used you this day to speak to another Christ follower!

Thurman8er said...

Great timing. Thanks.

And thanks for putting some KITH in the ol' blog. I've crushed a head or two in my day.

Tony Myles said...

So glad to know we're all on journey with this...

and yes, I have also crushed a head on more than one occasion. You know you're in real trouble when the person isn't even in the room and you are crushing away. ;)