The Greatest Enemy to Spiritual Growth ~
Demeaning Another Generation of Leaders
It is highly recommended that you listen to the audio version/podcast of this message and join in with the prayers lifted up on behalf of the Body of Christ.
There is a dangerous trend blooming much like a dandelion in the body of Christ that needs to literally be nipped in the root, and in no way approached with a cowering spirit! Somehow it’s now a trending youthful “call from God” to be a cutting edge voice that is sent to “correct” the current Fathers and Mothers in the body of Christ.
I DON’T CARE HOW POPULAR OR TRENDY ANY MOVEMENT IS or, any individual who is a gifted speaker is. If they have been given the privilege to address the body of Christ on any stage, in any pulpit, in any gathering, they are to be judged and held accountable by those in leadership for their actions and their choices when they speak to others.
I AM ADDRESSING SPECIFIC SITUATIONS where a young-(ish) man or woman is allowed to speak in a meeting and begins to demand that the crowd responds according to their commands. There should NEVER be even the hint of demeaning another generation of leaders publicly, or a shaming and finger-pointing message aimed at somehow “breaking the people” and getting them to be stirred up to do something. Whatever that “something” might be, if people are shamed into action, then it is truly not God’s will or God’s plan.
WHO GET’S TO ADDRESS PEOPLE FROM THE PODIUM? There’s a lot to be said about not quickly allowing a novice or newcomer to your team to have absolute access to speak into the hearts of those who gather to hear of the specific (and most hopefully) -GOD ORDAINED vision that you, as a leader, have been commissioned and assigned to serve and honor! In 1 Kings 12 – Rehoboam rejected the advice of the “older men” who had stood with Solomon, listening instead to the “young men who grew up with him.” It divided the Kingdom. HEAR that.
Pride can cause a novice who is actually termed “a new planting” meaning, “still not having put down roots”, to defend themselves and their more “potent” message. Pride can cause them to look down on others. If you allow it, pride will rob them of the most treasured mentoring relationships in their lives.
WHEN ANOTHER GENERATION MOCKS THE WORDS OF GOD. Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some childish boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here you old bald man!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled the forty-two the boys, 2 Kings 2:23.
THE WORD FOR “CHILDREN” IN THIS VERSE IS TRANSLATED AS PERSONS OF THIRTY OR FORTY YEARS OF AGE, and though these are called “little, they were so well grown as to be able to go out of the city by themselves without anyone to guide them, or to take care of them and they were at an age capable not only of taking notice of Elijah’s baldness, but knew he was a prophet.
They were able to know what good and evil was and, from a malicious spirit inside of them, they mocked at him. Some Jewish writers say they were called “Naarim”, which means “children” because they had shaken off the bond that was keeping people close, the commandments, and “little”, because they were of little faith:
THEY MOCKED HIM, AND SAID TO HIM, “GO UP, YOU BALD HEAD! GO UP, YOU OLD BALDY!” Meaning, not up the hill to Bethel, where his coming was not really welcomed since most of the people were idol worshippers, and maybe these children were sent out to intimidate him with their jeers to keep him from entering the city! They had heard about Elijah going up to heaven so they jeeringly told him to go up to heaven after him, and then they would have gotten rid of them both! “Who needs that old man telling us what to do?!”
At the same time that they were mocking him for his baldness, and making a funny story of the wondrous works of God, the taking up into heaven of Elijah, which by behaving so disrespectfully to a “White haired head,” a prophet of the LORD, was terribly wicked, and therefore opened the door to an external attack from a destructive force. Two full-grown she-bears, who consumed them.
Folks, there are consequences for mockery and deception!
BEFORE A MAN OR WOMAN CAN LOOK DOWN ON ANOTHER, they must first assume he or she is better than the person they are speaking against. A proud man or woman is suspicious of everyone else. A humble man or woman is more suspicious of their own heart than anyone else. The proud heart will detect defects in others before him. But a humble soul sees the evil in his/her own heart before they see evil in others.
CONCEIT AND PRIDE ARE THE GREATEST ENEMIES TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH! Newly acquired knowledge often leads to pride rather than wisdom. This is often true with the novice. There is no surer way to fall into sin than to allow pride to lead us into putting confidence in ourselves rather than God. T his type of pride always leads to destruction, because it robs us of God’s power to stand against temptation.
WHAT WE ACCOMPLISH AS MEMBERS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS DONE BY THE POWER OF GOD. The novice begins thinking that what he/she accomplishes is his/her own doing. The people in Corinth had been developed in every way as well, with the knowledge of God, but pride in what they knew was about to lead to their destruction!
KNOWLEDGE CAN BE MISTAKEN FOR MATURITY, but true knowledge is designed to bring us TO maturity. When we parade our freedom before others in an effort to reveal how much we know, we reveal our immaturity and are treading on dangerous ground! Knowledge put on PUBLIC display leads to revelry and scattering.
TRUE KNOWLEDGE BRINGS THE RESTFUL DISCIPLINE OF SELF-CONTROL. Paul’s knowledge of God led him to lead a disciplined life for the benefit of himself and others.
HUMBLING OURSELVES IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THE ROOF OFF TOWARD GOD, AND THE WALLS DOWN TOWARD OUR FELLOW MAN.
Once offences have been committed, whether intentional or unintentional, they must be dealt with! “I was wrong. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?” are healing words that only a humble soul would use. Whenever you find a man or woman willing to humble themselves before God and man, you have found a person who will be exalted, because “humility comes before honor.”
REMEMBER THAT SOME MEN’S SINS ARE OBVIOUS, AND ARE EQUALLY OBVIOUSLY BRINGING THEM TO SERIOUS JUDGMENT.
“Remember that some men’s sins are obvious, and are equally obviously bringing them to serious judgment. The sins of other men might not be apparent, but are dogging them, nevertheless, under the surface. Similarly some virtues are plain to see, while others, though not at all conspicuous, will eventually make themselves felt,” 1 Timothy 5:24-25.
“Don’t reprimand or publicly talk down to a senior leader in your church, honoring him as a father by first showing respect and humility. Treat the young men kindly as brothers, and the older women as nurturing mothers. Treat the younger women as sisters, and no more,” 1 Timothy 5:1-2.
~ Mary Lindow ©
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|Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.|