Sometimes the most trumpeted spiritual gifts are the ones that are not spiritual at all. One example is the snooping around done that leads to griping. We sit there griping about someone as if the words out of our mouths were new nuggets in our accumulating treasure in Heaven.
We read articles to see who has messed up. We ask around for the juiciest gossip of who has fallen just so we can wax eloquent on how upset we are about it. Strangely, it is not common to be really upset about what you go seeking to find. Usually, that is a source of joy. Could that be the case here? You can answer for you, but I must ask: O Lord, help me.
Sometimes we are looking for lesser things than someone falling. We scan Facebook newsfeeds with squinting eyes asking our spouse: does she have on pants? We have an in-depth conversation at church about whether so-and-so went to the movies. And on and on.
If that wasn’t bizarre enough behavior, we then talk about that person as if he or she has apostatized. We say, “Isn’t that so sad?” Now the emotion shown looks like something other than sadness. Gloating is, perhaps, a little more accurate. Then we gripe and gripe: “What is this world coming to?” “Isn’t there anyone left who loves and follows The Lord?”
There are people, I believe, who never have a week go by without engaging in this aberrant behavior. It is done with the pretense of spirituality, but how does The Lord view it?
On several occasions such people showed up to check on Jesus. Can you believe He eats with sinners? He ignores the Sabbath–He doesn’t love God. They would come finding what they were looking for and just gripe incessantly. What does Jesus think of that attitude?
Well, once John the Baptist answered the question. Matthew 3:7 says:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Read on–his words only got stronger!
It might be time to put this supposed spiritual gift on the shelf where it belongs much as you would poison when making a nutritious dish. We need no such spiritual griping.
Read all articles in the series here.