Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
To continue our study, we are going to address PRIDE & BITTERNESS. PRIDE & BITTERNESS are roots of the outward fleshly manifestations as referenced in the dying tree or weed as seen here and this week we’ll address the manifestation of being unloving.
To address the roots and what springs up from it, we have come up with 5 questions to run it through as stated here.
- What does the world say?
- The culture, the flesh, the schemes of the enemy
- How is my character affected?
- Compromised, shame, self-loathing, mistrust
- How is this affecting those closest to me?
- God, The Church, wives, parents, siblings, children, co-workers
- What does God say about it?
- Diving into the scripture
- Do I need to change my mindset about it?
- Repentance, kingdom minded, calling, goal, mission, vision
In the first study, we discussed “The Plan” (go back and review if necessary) Do we know our calling and if so does these roots of Pride and Bitterness and the manifestation of being UNLOVING take us off that end goal/vision/mission/calling? To find out let’s start with #1
#1 What does the world say?
He who gives away shall have real gain. He who subdues himself shall be free; he shall cease to be a slave of passions. The righteous man casts off evil, and by rooting out lust, bitterness, and illusion do we reach Nirvana.
“People sometimes say that you must believe in feelings deep inside, otherwise you’d never be confident of things like ‘My wife loves me’. But this is a bad argument. There can be plenty of evidence that somebody loves you. All through the day when you are with somebody who loves you, you see and hear lots of little tidbits of evidence, and they all add up. It isn’t purely inside feeling, like the feeling that priests call revelation. There are outside things to back up the inside feeling: looks in the eye, tender notes in the voice, little favors and kindnesses; this is all real evidence.”
― Richard Dawkins atheist
As other’s have pointed out, love can’t be precisely measured or even precisely defined, but it’s still a very real emotion. Just as it is possible to love someone/something that doesn’t exist, it’s also possible to have a real belief in something that doesn’t exist.
For instance, we still feel love for others who have died. The target of their affection no longer exists, but their feelings for them are still there and still real. Taking it one step further, it’s possible for someone to love a fictional character, to feel a great deal of affection for them, even though they never existed. The character was never real, but their love for them is. That love doesn’t prove the character exists. If someone believes in a fictional character and loves them their belief is a very real (although unquantifiable) thing. It doesn’t prove that the character exists, though.
- ― Dave Hitt
Why Christianity is unloving, especially moderate Christians. Ignore all the various splinters of Christianity, the endless denominations and sects, contradictory belief systems, and claims to being the “one true religion” made by every religion. This is about Christianity in the broader sense: the 2,000,000,000+ people who claim to be Christian. And yes, there will be bits borrowed here and there from all our favorite authors and atheist figures.
The one basic tenet of faith that unites the Christian world is that Jesus died for your sins. This is what separates Christians from, say Muslims of whom believe Jesus was a real person, a great prophet, or even atheists who might feel that he was a historical figure of little importance.
Most every Christian will also make the claim of peace and loving your fellow man. “God is love”, “Love your neighbor as yourself”, the theme of loving your fellow man is reiterated throughout Christianity (obviously in spite of the actions of their followers). However, this idea of love is in direct contradiction to the concept that Jesus died for your sins.
To accept that Jesus died for your sins, one must first conclude that we are sinful. Do we do this by choice? Or is it inherent after the “fall of mankind” described in Genesis? It doesn’t matter whether or not the Christian takes the account of Adam as literal or figurative, somehow we come to the point that humanity today is a race of imperfect people who sin. Thus requiring Jesus ransom sacrifice to redeem us of that sin.
To conclude that we are inherently sinful, demands that we jump to assumption that the person you are claiming to love, is already broken, requires deific assistance to get fixed and become a better person. There’s a level of condemnation that comes with it that nearly all Christians don’t even notice that they do. That we come out of the womb in debt, that we born imperfect, is no different than thinking that someone is less of a man because he was born black, or that another human is less capable because she was born a woman.
We as a society, for the most part, have moved beyond this thinking when it comes to race, gender, and origin. Yet all Christians still hold on to this idea of being unable to accept someone for who they truly are until they are redeemed by Jesus. Only then are they capable of becoming the human that they can be.
This inability to accept your fellow man for who they truly are, escapes the notice of nearly all Christians. How can they claim to love the each other when they cannot even begin to accept us for who we are, based on the merits of our own actions?
This is why the entire concept of Christianity is one that is unloving. Moderate Christians are the most at fault of this. They are the ones that are usually preaching the most about love, yet they are still unable to accept us for who we are.
If one does not feel that we “sin”, if they can accept us for who we are, then of what need is there for Jesus ransom sacrifice? It is completely void, it is null, his actions regardless of validity are moot. Without sin, there is no need for Jesus. Without Jesus, why be Christian?
So the next time a Christian, no matter the denomination, background, or level of insanity, tries to claim that they love each other, or that God loves you, or that Jesus loves you, feel free to explain to them why merely believing in Jesus prevents them from being capable of being truly loving.
TL:DR Believing that Jesus died for our sins, means that we “sin” or are “sinful”, and thus requires one to not be able to accept us for who we are.
– Ex-Jehovah’s Witness
#2 How is my character affected?
If we are unloving, we have taken the place of God. In pride, we set ourselves up as judge, jury and executioner. We compare ourselves against the failings of others instead of the perfect measure of our Father in heaven. Create our own definition of love and hold others to the standard we’ve have set. In bitterness, we treat others with less dignity because they are not worthy of our love.
#3 How is this affecting those closest to me?
If we practice being unloving, we are teaching those closest to us to be unloving (a vicious cycle). Selfishness begets selfishness and it takes a truly loving act to break that cycle. We diminish the dignity of those around us, make them feel unworthy of love or honor unless they conform to our expectations. We cause instability and insecurity as they question the relationship with you especially in the case of dads. We and our children will see and relate to God very much how we relate to our earthly father. If we demonstrate being unloving, our children will see God as distant and unloving.
#4 What does God say about it?
2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 1:9-10
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag andis not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 John 3:11-18
11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1 John 4:15-21
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
#5 Do I need to change my mindset about it? Am I guilty?
Based on the scriptures we just read, in what ways can we change our mindset about being unloving?
GET INTO THE WORD DAILY, THE WORD IS TRUTH. Believe Genesis 1:1 the rest is easy then. Get Real! Confess one to another, repent (180 degree turn) and pray for one another.
Brothers we believe that we live in such a time (and what a privilege it is) that we need to be awake, vigilante, sober and full of the Holy Spirit having our lamps full of oil and the extra oil ready to go. God has given us everything we need to walk after Him to love Him with all our heart mind soul and strength, to love one another, and serve His set apart ones. Let’s go to the stream and be the ones that cup the water to our mouths to drink and not have our heads down in the water lapping like dogs. Let’s be Mighty Men of Valor. (Judges 7)
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.