Go Kick Tommy’s Cat

Harry Grant got up in a bad mood on Monday. Upon arriving at work he called in his sales manager and chewed him out because his report was tardy. The sales manager called in his secretary and chewed her out for several letters she had failed to file. The secretary saw the receptionist and yelled at her for not relaying some messages the previous day. The receptionist opened her door at home that evening and saw her son’s new jeans had a hole in the knee and sent him to bed without supper. On the way upstairs Tommy saw the family cat and kicked it all the way across the room.

Wouldn’t it have been better on everyone if Mr. Grant had simply gone over to Tommy’s house and kicked the cat himself and left all those other folks in a good mood?

How many times have I thought of that little story when I have been responsible for ruining the mood around our house by being in a bad mood and passing it along to others? How many times have I seen this take place in the church, where one person’s ill manners could start a chain of events that led to a great problem, even division?

Then on the other hand, I have seen someone enter a rather sticky situation, and their manners and grace changed the whole atmosphere into a lovely place to be. And then you begin to think…”Isn’t this the kind of person I had rather be?” Anybody can ruin a good atmosphere. And anyone can improve a bad one. That is, if we will put our Christian principles into practice.

Let me challenge you! Make your Bible class the best place in the world to be on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Make our assemblies the nicest place to spend time, and you will find more people wanting to spend time there. Work and make the atmosphere pleasant wherever you are. Take it easy on Tommy’s cat! !

For His Cause, Tim Woodward

via the Smithville Church of Christ

#attitude, #bible-study, #church-problems, #spiritual-answers, #spiritual-application, #thinking-of-others, #worship-services

A Puffed Up Church

A young man was being interviewed for a job. The employer held a glowing letter of reference and complimented the potential employee on such an impressive letter. With modesty came the reply, “I’m glad you liked it. I wrote it myself” Pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18), and it also goes before a lot of hot air. The world is filled with puffed up people who hold themselves in the highest esteem. But in 1st Corinthians 4, the apostle Paul is addressing a puffed up church! “Now some are puffed up” (verse 18; also verses 6, 19). The Greek word is phusioo (pronounced `foo-see-o’-o”), defined by Strong’s Concordance as “blowing; to inflate, make proud (haughty); puff up.” The Corinthians were a proud, haughty, puffed up bunch. They felt good about themselves. As a matter of fact, they felt better about themselves than the Lord did! They had written their own glowing letter of reference, had read it, and were very impressed with what it said. In 1st Corinthians 4:7-13 Paul gives a pointed portrayal of just how puffed up they were. They saw themselves as “full, rich, reigning as kings, wise, strong, distinguished.” Study carefully and you will find this is a case where an inspired Bible writer uses sharp irony (an expression in which the intended meaning of the words is ‘the opposite of their usual sense). Paul employs this technique in an effort to puncture their puffed-up pride and jerk them back to spiritual reality.

The point, of course, is not to suggest we ought to feel bad for feeling good about the church. The problem was not that the Corinthian church was rich and full. Christians, after all, enjoy what Paul called in another place the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). The problem at Corinth was what they were full of — themselves! Church pews can be occupied by puffed up people who, spiritually, have become as snug as a bug under a rug. Nice jobs, nice homes, a nice income, a nice building, a nice budget, nice preachers, nice elders, nice worship services, and a nice membership can puff us up with a sense of accomplishment and pride to the point that we become stagnant and complacent in our spiritual lives and work for the Lord. When this happens, we begin to “keep house for the Lord” instead of storming our neighbors and the world with the gospel. Words from Revelation 3:16-17 ought to puncture the pride of any Christian or congregation puffed up with self-conceit and pride — “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’; and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” When we feel better about ourselves than the Lord does, we are puffed up with pride.

Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ

#1-corinthians, #church-problems, #lessons-for-the-church, #pride

Daily Nudge: ecclesiological hypertrophy

Describe a situation that could be called eccesiological hypertrophy. Define it as you like.

I saw the word “hypertrophy” as the word of the day in an internet service and wondered what that might mean as a pathology in the body of Christ. I suspect you have some ideas to flesh out this concept.

Those of you who like big words ought to enjoy this Nudge; others may ignore or revile me.

#church-problems, #nudge