I struggle with “foot in mouth” disease. I see some point in the spiritual life that we are missing. Then I try to express it so that others might grow. Usually, it is the equivalent of saying to a woman, “That is an ugly dress.” I mean, I try to say it right. It might be, “that dress does nothing for you.” or “I liked the dress you wore last week so much better than this one.” Now, I have learned from bitter experience to say nothing about clothes, but about Spiritual things? Where is the line between a prophet insulting people and just an awkward statement?
One time, I was trying to get people to understand that we wasted a lot of Christian manpower. Unfortunately, the example I chose was, “What does the choir add to the growth of the church?” There were many choir members in the group, and it was like I attacked the sacred cow. I could have used the food give away ministry, or the church housing as the example and still been attacking the sacred cow. People often do these things to make themselves feel good rather than because they grow the church. What is even worse, is that many of our sacred cows make visitors leave. People now days have grown up with half hour and one hour TV shows. A two hour church service drives them away. These things need to be said, but let me do it and … awkward.
On one of our last days in Portugal we went to the local church. I prayed during their prayer meeting. As a background, I had been studying Romans intensely for my Romans blog. My mind was filled with “count it all joy” type statements. I was also mulling the ideas that we should be victorious in all circumstances so others would see the victory. Well, you know the typical prayer meeting. Everyone is lamenting their health woes. Did I say that I hate prayer meetings for that focus? Well, you guessed it. I wanted people to walk in victory whether their path lead to healing or not. It didn’t come out right. More like I was criticizing them. Once again … awkward.
I have been looking at videos of the destruction in Hawaii. I know it is not wise to build on an active volcano, especially when you see past lava flows covered that area. Even some of the people knew they were gambling, but many didn’t. I am not so far gone in my ADD that I think it is a good idea to tell them to their face that they were stupid. Unfortunately, they say that many other people are not sympathetic when they are grieving for their loss. Instead they get many critical remarks. This is a great example of what I try to avoid, but somehow miss one of the ramifications, and still manage to get myself in hot water. Pray for me that I would not stop trying to lead people to greater victory, but would learn to do it without suffering “foot in mouth” disease.