Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Power for Living Part 14 - The Authentic Christian

Talk was at a high point in our little group of Christians. Whispers and gossip about one another were far more the order of the day than talk of our great God and how to know Him better. It was discouraging, frustrating and even disillusioning. Oh, there were real issues alright. Some things did need sorting out. But when feelings get hurt, walls go up and then we, who are to be known to the world by our love, become barricaded behind masks.

One particular day I found myself engaging in talk about a fellow believer. Oh I had myself convinced it was innocent talk. Another Christian and I were simply lamenting about how one, who we knew to be quite spiritual, could be a part of such dissension! Imagine!

That night I picked up my Bible and read Psalm 15. Some have called this the “Psalm of the Authentic Christian”. As I read through it I read these words:

“Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? (Who may come into your presence?)... He who…... has no slander on his tongue, and casts no slur on his fellowman… but honors those who fear the Lord…”. Psalm 15

My thoughts went immediately to my earlier conversation. When my heart is bent toward my God, the Holy Spirit is such a wonderful guide in confronting my soul with the things that grieve Him and make our loving God feel so far away.

I want to be able to dwell in the Lord’s presence and feel His help and strength and guidance in my life daily. Yet by my own actions I can limit that access.

I had been casting a slur on another believer for his behavior. Here God was telling me not to do that but rather to treat my fellow believers with honor. But… but… I could surely justify my comments! Or could I? Could I in light of what the Holy Spirit was revealing to me?

I asked for forgiveness and for the Holy Spirit to nudge me before the words came out of my mouth. This doesn’t mean we don’t deal with the issues that might need addressing. It does mean that we do it in such a way as to protect each other and bring honor to our God. It is only the power of the Holy Spirit that can do this in my life. Left to my own measures there would often be little grace and the world around me would end up seeing no difference in how a Christian handles conflict.

Psalm 15 concludes:

“He who does these things shall never be shaken”. Psalm 15

Allowing the Holy Spirit into these difficult challenges changes us and how we respond. It sets the stage for dealing with issues in God’s grace filled way. It gives us a security in the depths of our soul where otherwise only stress would dwell.