Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Breaking And Entering: Be Careful of Your Witness

A faithful witness does not lie,
But a false witness will utter lies.
Proverbs 14:5

What happened to Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. happened to my husband. Several months back, John was doing some work around the house and ended up locking himself out. He then proceeded to use other means to enter. As a result, a neighbor called the police. Once they arrived they handcuffed John and held him face down on our concrete driveway. He was explaining to the officers his dilemma and said he had ID to prove this was his residence. They were reluctant in allowing him do so. When they finally did, they were not pleased with what he presented and asked for more evidence. It was a terrible experience, but was eventually resolved. He was hurt and disgusted. Two things were evident: we lack relationship with our neighbors and regardless of the law you are guilty until proven innocent.

My husband’s incident and the incident with Professor Gates should make us all mindful of both our citizen and Christian witness. Of course we understood the urgency of stopping a person breaking and entering our home. We appreciate our local police department’s ability to act fast, especially since we live in a rural county. It could have been life or death for John if someone was attempting an attack while he was at home. However, there were children watching. The situation attracted a crowd of witnesses. Witnesses are around us everyday. At work, school and yes even watching our front porch. They are there when we think no one is watching, and the same goes for when we are watching and others don’t know.

Often times, Christians view witnessing as sharing the Gospel of Christ only. It is truly so much more. A faithful witness is the truth to an otherwise unknown and misunderstood situation. When our witness is off or wrong, we should immediately correct how we formerly understood. If we don’t we become a victim to pride and lies. False witness is against the commandments of God. We can start by talking less about people and things we don’t know and sharing without wavering in the unadulterated truth we do. The impetuosity of this culture is dangerous, and unfortunately the children of God react just as rash as anyone. We should stand out and be an example. Discipline our mouths to speak truth and our ears to accept it.

I live by this scripture when I even consider anything but the truth as it stands:
“There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.” So just because we think its right, that does not mean it is. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life! It is the truth that set’s us free.

So let us take inventory. How do you feel about your citizen and Christian witness? How can we become honest witnesses and humble when our witness is wrong?

Make your comments and check out the previous blogs!

~In Christ,

Caarne White

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Resentment: Is It Worth It? Matthew 6:14&15

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive trespasses.”
Matthew 6:14&15

There is a song both made by BeyoncĂ© Knowles and Jasmine Sullivan called “Resentment”. BeyoncĂ© performs it in these words:

Just can't seem to get over the way you hurt me
Don't know how you gave another who didn't mean a thing, no
The very thing you gave to me
I thought I could forgive you and
I know you've changed
As much as I wanna trust you I know it ain't the same
And it's all because you lied

I only give you a hard time
'Cause I can't go on and pretend like
I haven't tried to forget this
But I'm much too full of resentment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAI8R3l8YE8

It is a lyrical, terribly poetic song. How does a person get to the place where they not only have a bit of indignation toward another, but they are full of resentment. Not a little, not half, but full. Full love, full hope, full faith, full just about anything comes over time. When an action is done against you and it is manifest in your heart, without immediate forgiveness, there inevitably develops resentment. No one intends to brew a pot of unadulterated, maxed capacity resentment, but it happens. When you think about it, sleep on it, and just go on without forgiving. This is dangerous and must be taken seriously.

Often we feel we can not address a problem because it has become bigger than us. Now we know forgiveness is not so the other person feels better. It is for you, because the personal repercussion for not administering forgiveness immediately is resentment in the heart. Resentment turns into something that is hard, unwilling, unloving, and ultimately puts God’s forgiveness of you in jeopardy.

As Jesus was teaching this principle to the multitudes, I can imagine Him discerning the wickedness in the hearts of the people. There was wickedness in their hearts as a result of grudge holding and unwillingness to let go and move on. Here it is Jesus, teaching the people the essence of why He came and died for our sins. He came to forgive our sin and throw it into a see of forgetfulness. Now if He can do it, certainly we can too.

Share your testimony on getting through a forgiveness process and how you won the war against resentment. Or, if you need help, prayer, or deliverance regarding resentment, share that too. You don’t have to do it alone. God is with you.

~In Christ,

Caarne White