I’ve really been contemplating here lately what it means to be a healthy, growing, mature Christian. I’m very disturbed by the fact that there are people who have attended church for decades, yet have never experienced very much spiritual maturity. In fact, (I Corinthians 13:11 (KJV) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.) pretty much sums it up! There should be milestone and markers along the way of our spiritual journey that highlight and indicate our growth!
Simply put, there are fundamental, basic characteristics of being a healthy, growing Christian that should be identifiable in our walk with the Lord! There are certain things that are expected, even forgivable, for a new Christian, but for a seasoned Christian, there should be obvious signs of growth and maturity, essentially, as the Bible states, we should put away childish things. By year 10, or 20, or 30 of being a Christian, we shouldn’t struggle with the same things we struggled with in our infancy stages as believers. Lying, cheating, stealing, backbiting, gossiping, lusting (just to name a few), are all common traits amongst new believers! However, these traits should not be visible in the life of a seasoned saint! Allow me to just briefly expound on one topic: rumors.
- The Word Rumor Is Just A Politically Correct Word For Lying. I hate to start out with such a bold statement, but most of us would agree, it is very seldom that rumors are truthful. Rumors, generally speaking, are made up, blatant lies! And that is NOT okay! If you’re a healthy, mature, and growing believer, then participating in rumors should not be a part of your life! After all, if I’m not mistaken, one of the 10 Commandments was actually rather clear…THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR! Isn’t it humorous sometimes that we can overlook some of the basics of being a Christ follower?
- Rumors Generally Have No Truth To Them. I would admit, sometimes, rumors do need a hint of truth in order to substantiate them, however, I have been dumbfounded at times in my life at rumors that I have heard that are laughable! Laughable because there is no truth to them whatsoever! Please, if you consider yourself a healthy Christian, let’s all commit to doing our part to putting a stop to rumors. We absolutely, should NOT add fuel to the fire.
- Rumors Are Started By People Who Feel Guilt. Guilt is an interesting emotion. It causes people to do strange things. And sometimes, people who feel guilt about something, use rumors as a coping mechanism. Basically, because of guilt, or regret, an individual can make up and start spreading a rumor and that somehow helps them as they deal with, and process something in life that they’re going through. Obviously, this is “spiritually immature” behavior, that needs to be addressed. This is why as pastors, teachers, educators, etc., we need to deal with topical issues such as rumors! Why? Because people struggle with issues like this, and they can’t mature properly without being taught thoroughly!
- Rumors Are Believed By People Who Have Trust Issues. Now this is really where rumors can be stopped. The reality is, we’ve all heard something outrageous before, and if we know the situation, or the individual about whom the rumor was referring to, if we really are informed, we don’t believe it! Thus putting a stop to it. However, if we’re not too familiar with whom the rumor is about, then doubt and skepticism come to mind, and we second-guess ourselves, giving the rumor oxygen to continue breathing on!
I hope you take a few moments today to understand the affect and impact that rumors can have on people, churches, youth groups, schools…any organization for that matter! These days, it no longer takes a conviction, but merely an accusation, and that accusation can destroy a person. We shouldn’t be in the people destroying business, we should be in the business where we are encouraging people and giving them life!
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