Passionately Ignorant

“… preach by their deeds.”

St. Francis of Assisi

I wanted to start out with that incredibly awesome quote by St. Francis of Assisi wherein he said, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words when necessary.”  Only, it turns out?  He never said anything of the kind.  I recently read an eye-opening post on why this is such a widely misused quote here.  The only thing St. Francis did say, that was even remotely close to that, was the ending bit of an article on church leadership, which I used up above.

The sentiment behind that non-existent quote, though, is alive and kickin’ in this heart of mine. Lately, it seems like what I do is noticed far more than what I say.  And, I’m not just thinking about my kidlets and the neighbors.  This journey toward my real Home?  It’s paved with good intentions. But, I think it’s safe to say that intentions don’t mean diddly squat, without action behind them.

Once you’ve asked Jesus to rule your heart, for all of your days, you are On Fire.  True story.  Oftentimes, though, that new-found faith includes a passion that can cloud better judgement.  Or, as was the case with me, on far too many an occasion, any judgement.

I’ve made some mistakes along the way, in this grand adventure of following Jesus. And, while I’ve never faltered in my desire to be like Him, I’ve faltered plenty in my methods.

I’m not naive or vain enough to believe, for one hot second, either, that I won’t ever do it again in the future.

But, in an effort to remind myself of the importance of putting a sock in it, once in a while; and, to spare some poor soul from any similar encounters of the offensive kind, I’m sharing my top 3 Most Passionate Mishaps with you.  Thankfully, they are all smothered in grace galore.

  1.  Telling someone, who isn’t seeking a relationship with Jesus, much less any spiritual Higher Power, How Very Much They Need Him! I’m talkin’ about banging that childhood friend, who couldn’t give two hoots about religion or spirituality, right over the head with your brand spankin’ new Bible.
  2. Offering to drive on a road trip with your friends, for the sole purpose of being able to commandeer the music selections.  So that you can, you know, “expose them to Cool Christian Music”.  The Entire Way There. And back.
  3. Jumping in, uninvited, to help soothe a poor hurting soul by “reminding” them of a popular Bible verse, and following it up with a platitude like, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Now please, don’t misunderstand me here.  I’m well aware that a good word in turn can brighten someone’s outlook or bring comfort to a painful situation.

I’ve learned, however, that this usually involves more praying and less talking.

Oh. Yes. It. Does.

Please, PLEASE TELL ME, I’m not the only one who has made these sorts of mistakes along the way?

10 thoughts on “Passionately Ignorant

  1. Missy, you come up with the most timely things to post. This has been pressing on my heart because I know that God wants me to share His word, His love. I keep thinking of words to say; when in actuality it is my deeds that will spread His word. Thank you, Lord, for giving Missy the words that make things clearer to me and will enable me to have a closer relationship with you. Amen.

    • Oh, Sheila, that is so incredibly encouraging to my own heart! Thank you! Sharing his Word in any way we can, by loving others… that’s the stuff right there!

  2. Amen, amen, amen, Tanya. When I read about that man this week, it saddened me, too, because I’m sure the lady meant well, but her words have kept this man out of church all these years. Why I carefully pray before I speak to a non-believer…and like Missy said, “less talking”. 😀

  3. Oh, Miss Indeedy, we have all done this. Our friends love us anyhow. I have learned to examine my intentions. Am I the rich guy praying on the steps of the temple, or the poor guy huddled humbly in the corner?

    • Our friends do, indeed. It’s the ones we are usually trying to reach that aren’t yet our friends who end up doin’ the ol’ “What the what, now?” 😉

  4. Yep. Paragraph two. To the whole “actions behind good intentions” thing. Ain’t that the truth! And to the rest of this fantastic post…. Oh snap! I’m sure you’re not the only one, and I feel for you, I do. But I can’t say I can relate. Turns out, I’m not that bold of a Christian/person. But I am most definitely thankful for the grace galore that smothers all my many other mishaps.

    On another note: I missed you while you were away. Glad your fingertips are spelling out your thoughts once again! 🙂

    • I heart your encouragement and I heart you, even more, Tanya! Yes ma’am – that bravery comes with it’s own set of problems. Stupidity, for one. Sometimes… 😉

  5. No, you’re not. I did, too, and from reading facebook posts and blogs, many others have received FAR worse by what was perceived as “good intentions” by Christians. I read just this week how a man once visited a church, and when he went to pick up his daughter from the nursery, the lady asked how long he and his wife had been married—he told this lady how they weren’t married and she proceeded to ask him “Why then are you in church?” and how they needed to “get right with God”. He never went back. Yes, they DID need to get right with God, but our job is to bring them to the cross…”We catch them and He cleans them”.

    I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so I knew nothing about Jesus, only that he was God’s Son. I didn’t meet a born again believer until I was 19. Sadly, most of the Christians I met actually steered me away from having a relationship with the LORD because of what they said, or how they even condemned my lifestyle. Sometimes we Christians do more hurt than good with our words. Thankfully, the LORD continued to pursue me, because He continued to put godly men and women in my path, and I met several who shared their love for the LORD. These individuals must have been Holy Spirit led when they spoke with me, because they did not condemn my lifestyle, but just loving pointed me to Jesus.

    • Hi Prunable, I just wanted to reply to your reply here because it’s fantastic! It blessed my little ears to read it. The story of that man who visited a church and never returned just saddened my heart. Such as great reminder of how we as Christians should point people to Jesus. Like Missy said, even when we slip up from time to time, we’re always smothered in grace galore. Thank goodness.

    • Pat!!! Yes! Oh, yes. That wooing that Jesus can do through the loving actions and kind words from others… it’s a thing of beauty. I am humbled afresh at how he can lovingly take a chief among sinners, like me, and wash me clean and call me new. Oh…

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