Needed . . . Islands Of Honesty In A Sea Of Confusion

Let me grab the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes . . .
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:”

When men are broadly exhorted about wrong attitudes or actions, they take quick inventory as to whether they fall into that wrong thinking or behavior before they inwardly and outwardly respond.

Example: Say this to a pastor who is unconnected to your situational example and see what is said in response!

” I cannot fathom how this happens, that not one pastor on the staff visited her mother when she was in the hospital for surgery, or then when she was transferred to rehab, still not one visited her mother!”

Two Different Responses: I heard two different responses when I said that to two different pastors as I was challenging them about showing care and concern for God’s people.

1 – “That hits home, Ted.  I need to do better at loving my people. What are some creative ways that show we can be better at showing that we care . . . .”

2 – “Well, the demands placed by people on us as pastors can be unreasonable. I know that I have failed at it at times. . . . .As a pastor, we face . . . . We will fail at that . . . I have and probably will again . . . “

One was a Church of God pastor, and one was Baptist.

The human mind’s ability to process thoughts in milliseconds is astounding.  The bank of failure and guilt is so quickly inventoried that in seconds we can decide to dispute or concur with what is said based on how we have performed in this-or-that role or situation.

I have seen people justify wrong-doing by making outlandish statements as to how they themselves would have responded if it had been them, and not another — “I’d be okay with that.”  I thought (and often said) — “Are you kidding me!  You have to say that because otherwise, you’d have to say you were wrong!”

The inability of men, God’s people, but worse yet, ministry leaders and pastors to say that wrong is wrong, even if it slays me and my heart, defeats any credibility that pastors rely on to move and influence the sheep.

There needs to be an island of reason in the sea of confusion that engulfs our culture and society today!  Unfortunately, today, the confusion is left unabated in many ministries and pulpits. [1]

“There is an evil which I have seen
under the sun,
and it is all too common among Baptist pastors!

The inability to own it, and a lost credibility!

The inability to see, face and admit that we were wrong and/or that we have failed.

The refusal to genuinely apologize and make it right!

1. There are multiple biblical passages which address this problem . . . . .

Psalm 15:1-2 — “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.”

Proverbs. 28:1 “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

Matthew 7:4-5 — “” Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Proverbs 21:2 — “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.”

Proverbs 12:15 — “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

Proverbs 26:16 — “The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.”

II Corinthians 1:12 — “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”

II Corinthians 8:21 — “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”

Psalm 51 — David exemplifies the honesty needed after being confronted with the truth about his grievous sin.

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