Out Of The Labyrinth: I Really Messed Up – City On A Hill With Lyrics

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” Matthew 7:3-5 (The Message)

city on a hillI’m in a study group where ministry philosophies and how the Holy spirit is to lead us in our lives.

One important part of the process is to interact with each other and form relationships. I began in the first sessions a few years ago but because of the car accident and returning to the hospital over and over I rejoined  2013. They were so thoughtful during the time I was sick and I was visited in the hospital and they even brought me the final test to the rest home I was recuperating at. The people are awesome. I’m now learning what churches actually face while impacting the community.

Some of these stores are quite shocking as I had no idea how some people behave. Even some people like me…..

Sometimes you can be so right your very wrong. Let me take you through a situation real quick: There is a guy in my class who I don’t really know that well and he made some comments that were a bit out of line.He has allot to offer to the discussion but this one thing caught me off guard. It chewed on it for a few weeks and then once we started the new session, he made the same comment again in front of everyone. So I did what I knew I was “right” in doing, I answered back in front of everyone to correct him. I’m sure he was embarrassed and I felt that was his just reward.

I didn’t make a scene, but still it wasn’t scriptural.

The Bible is clear on how to properly to deal with situations like these. You are to take a person aside in PRIVATE and tell them you think that they are a bit out of line in their behavior.It is to be done gently and with love. Iron sharpens iron and we are to help other see where they may be at fault, but not in front of everyone.

Still, I went home and felt justified in what I had done, but inside something didn’t feel right. Like a still small voice I felt that I had done something wrong. My mind told me I was fine, not to worry. But it kept bugging me. As I was traveling to the next weeks session, I had a conversation with myself that it was things like these that had turned me off to church people in the past, and that i thought “people like these are the problem with the church today”

That’s called “self righteous” don’t ya think?

country-church-on-a-hill(2)It’s also called me being wounded and needing healing in that part of me. So what do you think was the topic of this session? Not only how we are to strive to walk in unity, then a teacher gave a real life example when they were early in ministry how when someone who “bugged” him was chosen for a position he felt entitled to. He told of of his secret animosity toward this guy, who went on in life to have a big impact in a ministry in Africa where he had been a missionary full time for 10 years! The takeaway of that message is that we have no idea how God is forming and using people and we are not to judge with our natural mind “what God should be doing” I felt convicted big time.

Now I was to learn what this guy who is in my group’s role in the kingdom really is.

I asked some people including him to take a look at this site and give me honest feedback. As I was talking about this With my shoulders hunched and looking down I said “I just want to magnify the Lord with what I am doing.”

He stopped and looked directly at me and said:

Steve, when you said that you looked down. Let me tell you what I sense the Lord is saying: You are the son of the King, and if he has put this on your heart to do then stand up and accept his leading and be proud of the work he is doing with your life”

BOOM! I felt life surge into me. He was encouraging me to stand in truth and to not be ashamed. I realized that while i need others eyes on my life, I should never shrink away form the Gospel and to boldly share what is contained there. There was no animosity in him as he could have easily took a poke at me in my moment of uncertainty, could have been a real gotcha moment for him. This man is a prayer intercessor and powerful man of God. An encourager… and yes shocking to find out…. human too.

Now let’s take another look at this: Let’s say that he did “retaliate” on me. Where would that have gone? This is how factions develop and fractures appear in a church. One small things grown into big things, rights are kept pride enters and a group of people split as people take a stand with what they perceive as right. I saw this begin to happen when I was 10 and throughout my young adult life and that seriously wounded me around the “church” and I reacted with bad behavior and rejecting the gospel, the only things that could save me.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow and asking his forgiveness for my public comment. I’m sure he has much thicker skin than I and probably doesn’t remember it, but who knows. Scripture says that’s what i have to do and I will do it.

Who knows how the Holy Spirit works, and I need to stop trying to be the “expert” on the subject and stay in surrender.

I was listening to the Casting Crowns song city on a hill and it reminded me of this situation and I decided to write about it. These lyrics talk about the role of each of us to help play a part in the “city on a hill”, a witness to a better way of life.

Churches are not made by their stained glass mosaics or big beautiful buildings, they are made from a mosaic of people, broken like me but with faith together to move mountains.

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)”

 

“City On The Hill” Lyrics – Casting Crowns

Did you hear of the city on the hill
Said one old man to the other
It once shined bright, and it would be shining still
But they all started turning on each other

You see the poets thought the dancers were shallow
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak
And the elders saw the young ones as foolish
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak

But one by one, they ran away
With their made up minds to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade
In the City on the Hill, the City on the Hill

Each one thought that they knew better
But they were different by design
Instead of standing strong together
They let their differences divide

And one by one, they ran away
With their made up minds to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade
In the City on the Hill, the City on the Hill

And the world is searching still

But it was the rhythm of the dancers
That gave the poets life
It was the spirit of the poets
That gave the soldiers strength to fight
It was fire of the young ones
It was the wisdom of the old
It was the story of the poor man
That needed to be told

It is the rhythm of the dancers
That gives the poets life
It is the spirit of the poets
That gives the soldiers strength to fight
It is fire of the young ones
It is the wisdom of the old
It is the story of the poor man
That’s needing to be told

But one by one will we run away
With our made up minds to leave it all behind
As the light begins to fade in the City on the Hill

One by one will we run away
With our made up minds to leave it all behind
As the light begins to fade in the City on the Hill
The city on the hill

(Come home)
And the Father’s calling still
(Come home)
To the city on the hill
(Come home)

The background of the Casting Crowns can be found on Wikipedia

 

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