I spent the weekend reading a very well-written and thoroughly-researched book about a high profile international Christian ministry. This book revealed a host of secrets and hidden shortcomings of this ministry and its staff as well as questions about its abuse of power and laws.
I was incensed.
How could I stand by and let others keep that ministry in high regard? How could I let others get sucked into the manipulative dealings that allegedly were part of this organisations day-to-day operations? How could I listen to their music and read their books and say anything positive about what I had digested?
Naturally, I wanted to take my new-found knowledge and “shout it from the rooftops.”
In the middle of all my condemning thoughts and righteous anger, I stopped.
In my mind appeared the words of Jesus to a disciple who, like me, cared more about what another disciple would do in his life of following Jesus. Jesus said: ““. . . What is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:22)
Light bulb moment: I am not responsible for what others do or don’t do. I am only responsible to make sure I am following Jesus faithfully, keeping my own life in order. What is it to me if they are reported to have said or done certain things? They are accountable to God for these things and his purifying fire will one day burn off all that is not fit to enter the kingdom.
This knocked my “righteous indignation” down a notch or two. I am still sad about the way it seems others are choosing to live their lives. Unrighteous actions done in the name of God still sicken and anger me. But there are enough self-proclaimed prophets whose role seems to be to call down fire on anyone who strays from their definition of the straight and narrow way. I don’t need to add one more angry and bitter voice to the milieu.
Rather, I am called to keep my own house in order and my own conscience clear before God, to be an instrument of God’s peace and love. The words the Master spoke are ringing in my ears: “What is that to you? You follow me.”