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Believers That Are Not Obedient

I have a friend who seems to find fault with the way other Christians live. She is critical of her church and loses friend because she corrects them. She complains to me about believers that are not living obediently. Is fault finding a favorite past time for some believers? What do you think?

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 ---Madison1101 on 2/16/07
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Madison, to me it sounds like that possibly a root of bitterness has sprung up in her. I know that when people let bitterness overtake them, the person usually becomes very critical of others which in return, will drive people away from them. We are warned about a root of bitterness springing up in our lives in the 12th chapter of Hebrews.
---Cynthia on 8/22/07

As a general rule, hypercritical people are uncomfortable in their own skins. Biblically, it's our duty as Christians to warn others whose behavior contradicts the teachings of Jesus, so that they can repent. We are also told to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. We are told to pluck the logs out of our own eyes before trying to remove splinters out of the eyes of others. So,those of us who feel led to point out the faults of others need to be sure our own houses are clean.........
---twyla on 8/22/07

I think your friend, has the more serious problem. She has lost her focus so therefore, she has become the bigger problem ,then the problems around her. She is doing what a lot of people do. She is looking around and trying to fix something that she can't. When you do that you become weaker and lose what God gave you. I have been there before. It is a hard place to be in. In the process she will lose her joy, strength and effectiveness in Christ.Some things we can only pray about and let God handle it.
---Robyn on 8/22/07

madison, it is a BIG ,BIG,BIG, problem.
---tom2 on 8/22/07

The gift of discernment reveals if someone is operating in a wrong spirit and a wrong motivation.
It is not natural perception. The gift of discernment warns against false doctrines, false prophets, and false prophecies. God's alarm system.
The gift of discernment allows you to know when someone is lying and promoting false doctrine.
Acts 5:1-10
Acts 16:16-18
By the measure that we surrender to the Holy Spirit of God, is the measure that the Holy Spirit will use you.
---gg.b. on 2/28/07

Madison, in Marriage Encounter, I learned "I feel..." statements as a way of good spousal communications.

We also learned that feelings are neither good nor bad; they simply explain the moment, inside of a person.

Perhaps that may be a way of opening communications with her.

What MPA wrote is good, too.
---John_T on 2/27/07

m.p.a.: I have a wonderful friend in Florida who does the challenging in such a loving way. Never critical, but discerning. I want so much to be like her in this area of discernment.
---Madison1101 on 2/26/07

Jana, would you please not use textspeak, number gobbledy gook?
---R2D24U on 2/26/07

1. Correcting someone in love is a very difficult thing to do, it is just so much easier to complain behind their back isn't it and get it off your chest? The problem is the person you grumble about still doesn't know they are doing something that upsets you and cannot, therefore, put it right. I have a friend who has a gift of correcting in a loving way.
---m.p.a. on 2/26/07

2. She never says "You did this and shouldn't have". She always makes it a question to make others think. e.g. "Are you sure you did/said that for right reasons? Is it possible you were influences by someone else's opinion? Did you ask God about this or just go ahead and do it?" etc. She leaves people with food for thought about their actions or words.
---m.p.a. on 2/26/07

fault finding is one of the worse things on this blog instead of helping each other n giving encouraging words n not pulling down. your friend seem 2b one of them. you dont want to be her example. Follow the lord in all his ways dear n encourage yer friend 2ignore what others do on the negative n go 4the positive.JESUS is the way
---jana on 2/25/07

JohnT: I had an opportunity to challenge my friend the other night. She accused me of being judgmental toward her.

She had gone on a missions trip with a doctor and other medical personnel from her church. She referred to them as snobs who didn't have pure motives in going. I asked her how she knew their hearts. She was very defensive, saying it was a Christian's duty to point out sin in other believers.
---Madison1101 on 2/25/07


Get any help here, yet?
---John_T on 2/25/07

"The Bible does not paint a very pretty picture of the Family they went thru many trials theirselves but God still loved them"

He even loved Adam and Eve when HE kicked them out of the Garden of Eden.
---Susie on 2/21/07

Obedient: There were many people in the Family of God that are disobedient.Adam was a coward. Cain was a murderer. Jacob robbed Esau of his blessings. Abraham lied to God about Sarah. The sins of David are horrific.
The Bible does not paint a very pretty picture of the Family they went thru many trials theirselves but God still loved them. His love is unconditional
---anonymous on 2/21/07

JohnT....You are so funny! But, your boundary statements were definitely right on. That's something that many of us have a problem with setting. How many times do we get stuck in a conversation that we really don't want to be in? And, we sit there trying to think of a way to get out of it when all we really need to do is just walk away.
---Susie on 2/21/07

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Catherine: I liked your post on "meaning of discipleship" and your creative use of Matt 28: 19-20.
---jhonny on 2/20/07

Finally, if that does not work, tilt over her wheelchair!


Just kidding, folks
---John_T on 2/20/07

Good point Kenneth. "It is our duty to warn and correct those who's behavior contradicts the teachings of Jesus, so that they may repent and live."

James5:19, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20, Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
---jhonny on 2/20/07

Madison, you are talking about guilt, and there are two sorts of guilr; one good, the other bad.

The bad condemns you outright for not living up to certain UNREALISTIC expections; it is the sort that abusive families hand out to each other.

Good guilt drives you to Jesus for healing, cleansing and forgiveness, thus it is healthy.

Sounds as if your friend is into toxic guilt, and that does not come from Holy Spirit.
---John_T on 2/20/07

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Sounds as if your friend is into toxic guilt, and that does not come from Holy Spirit.

Now what to do:
1) Firmly establish your boundaries, you do not want to create co-dependency.

2) Express to her what you noticed, kindly and lovingly.

3) Ask her what she wants to do about it; make her own her dysfunction

4) Be prepared to leave incrementally, if not fully. One week, then two, etc if there is no improvement

5) Respect yourself, refuse to take out her garbage.
---John_T on 2/20/07

jhonny==I loved your blog on fault finding. We can, if we look hard enough, find faught with just about everyone. Jesus was a fine candidate.They followed Him around. PIC, PIC, PIC. yak.
---catherine on 2/20/07

madison, actually its a way of life for many first wife picked apart everything anyone ever said to her.
---tom2 on 2/20/07

It unfortunately appears by all these responses, that many people are confusing correction with criticism. It is our duty to warn and correct those who's behavior contradicts the teachings of Jesus, so that they may repent and live. This is however to be done in love and in truth after first correcting yourself. Don't try to correct others if you are not walking upright yourself. Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove when correcting others.
---Kenneth on 2/20/07

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This blog reminds me of a young pastor who wouldn't listen to anyone's advice. He picked apart the entire congregation when he first went there. He made his "best friend" a man who never contradicted anything he said and agreed with him on everything. Needless to say, the congregation got down to just a few people. The pastor left and took a position at a larger church in another state. Wonder how long that congregation will last?
---Susie on 2/20/07

I know of ministers who were taught that criticism built character. I know one leader who believed that "debilitating critcism"(his words) built character. How this training was interpreted by those men was dreadful.
Some people really need to focus on the positive, having little belief in their own value.
---jhonny on 2/20/07

If you have ever been really chastised by God, It feels like your insides is being pulled out of you. Not much fun, infact it's awful. That's okey. I still love Him.
---catherine on 2/20/07

God tells us that when He rebukes and chastizes us (gives us a spiritual spanking) it is out of love that He does this. If we as Christians truly care about someone, we WILL rebuke and chastize others as well, when they are not living according to God's Word. We will also take the time to exhort and lift up people as well. This is TRUE love.
---Leslie on 2/19/07

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The spirit of fault finding can be considered murder. At the least, it is a form of domination over others to reveal that you have the power. Who cares about the dignity, and integrity, and self esteem, of a useless, low class nobody, only worthy to sit under my footstool. And you there, go and stand against the wall, and don't talk. Often it's a self-promoting power trip at someone else's expense.
James 2:1-13.
---jhonny on 2/19/07

Madison...There comes a point in our lives as Christians when we realize that some criticism is good and some is not. It sounds to me like you know the difference. However, there comes a point when these women who are trying to "guide" you need to realize that you are also led by the Lord and He can do a much better job than they can. Although your loving corrector means well, maybe it is time she backs off and lets God do His work.
---Susie on 2/19/07

Christ made it clear that we not judge others! Our job is not to point a finger at peoples sins, but to spread the Gospel! We should spread Love, compassion and mercy to others as Christ taught and DID. By pointing a finger at other peoples faults we push them away from the Gospel, because they will consider you a hipocrite when they see you mess up! Be careful how you act around others- and be a light as Christ commanded!
---DePuTy on 2/19/07

Touchy: I haven't done anything that would be considered childish. I understand a lot of human behavior. I am just in awe of Christians who are highly critical of other believers, and find fault with everyone.
---Madison1101 on 2/18/07

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Madison: read Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:45, Ro 2:1. She finds faults in others because she is jealous of their walk with God.
---Rebecca_D on 2/18/07

Bless your enemies. Move away from defensiveness, touchiness, and taking every opportunity to strike back. It's childish and reveals an immaturity that's contrary to the professional image you're holding up. How can you begin to help others when you're struggling with the basics of human behavior. The intellectual arguments go down the tubes with childish interaction.
---Touchy on 2/18/07

I appreciate all the replies. I have been rebuked by her, and not sensed any love in it. I feel attacked and defensive. I have another dear friend who exhorts and rebukes me, and she does it with so much love, I feel compelled to correct whatever it is she is pointing out.

I guess the question is, what motivation is being communicated? My critical friend communicates a motivation of pointing out wrong, PERIOD. My loving friend communicates a desire to see me grow in the Lord.
---Madison1101 on 2/18/07

As my dear 91-year old pastor says, "Some Christians are sanctified. Others are cranktified."
---Susie on 2/17/07

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We as Christians MUST look at our own selves first before judging others. However, the Bible does say that it is the responsiblity of Christians to rebuke and correct when someone is not living right. Especially in these last days when the apostate church is rising up and growing, we MUST rebuke and correct, in order to save lives.
---Leslie on 2/17/07

George sounds like you have a great story. Would like to hear a little more about that. Can you bring that out a little more.
---jhonny on 2/17/07

Your friend needs to grow as a christian. Sounds like she could also be a perfectionist. Maybe someone who sets high standards for herself and others. Of course this is not good. We should pray for people like this and hope they find peace with themselves and with the issues they are dealing with.
The bible tells us to help those who are weak in the faith. Hating them and hurting them is not the answer.May God be with you and your friend.
---robyn on 2/17/07

great question. to answer is simple. many believe in the Savior and His sacrifice and become very self-righteous. Many people are on different plateaus in their spiritual development. We all learn things in our time. the same way a genius rushes through school and someone with ADS has to learn slowly. it is common knowledge that those who are A students will mock a C or D student as stupid or slow. The Savior said the same things many times in the bible. why, because he understood many are not scholars.
---Dave on 2/16/07

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This person is what I call a babyfied Christian. Never satisifed and always complaining about something. It is not her job to point out what others are doing. God sees what people does and how they act. this women needs to get saved right real good, and then she won't feel the need to judge others.
---Rebecca_D on 2/16/07

"Frienship with the world is hatred with God" I was expelled from a church because I stood for the truth. I didn't beat anybody up, I didn't commit any crime, I just spoke. Churches everywhere are in great need of people who tell them the truth, and not what they wanna hear. If for telling the truth they consider you your enemy, so be it. That's why I don't send anybody to any church but to Christ and the Bible alone. READ IT PLEASE!
---george on 2/16/07

Fault Finding. Also used to reduce the competition to get to the "top".
---jhonny on 2/16/07

As Christians we must be careful in the way we approach others. Our main focus should be to spread the good news 'Gospel' and bring people to God- through scripture! Let the Bible Judge them when they read it- not us. The Bible is the Word of God- and if a person digest's what he is reading- God will enter his mind and soul and lead him in the proper direction! God will change your sinning ways and lead you towards the path of salvation- I know, because it happened to me! God bless!
---DePuTy on 2/16/07

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The ones finding fault have obviously not found the beam in their own eye.
---JIM on 2/16/07

I tell you what I think, it is stupid. God does a Super, Duper, Job at correcting me, and I assume He shall correct others that belongs to Him. Who has got the time for such nonsence. God saids, "None of you are too Great" That'S iT!
---catherine on 2/16/07

Madison: "Is fault finding a favorite past time for some believers?"
At the level described, this person example has severe dysjunctive co-dependency.
Severe codependent persons do well hiding the fruits of their illness, within religious systems and values.
When you can perceive the distinctive faults in another, who would ever suspect you havn't applied the same perception to yourself.
Fault finding is an avoidance strategy. The fear of revealing yourself.
---jhonny on 2/16/07

The Bible states that if a Christian corrects anyone it must be another Christian. Also the correcting must be out of love and used for edifying the person(bringing the person to repentance). If it isn't done under those circumstances then it needs to stop.
---Matthew on 2/16/07

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Madison:They say, many a truth is spoken in Jest But jest a minute!! are we not living it here on this Forum.some sweet witticisms.I call it Table tennis in words.Players PING-PONG--winner gets the Scrabble more words.
---Emcee on 2/16/07

Murmuring and complaining was a very big deal to God while the Israelites were journeying in the wilderness. I always tell folks that the forefinger pointed at someone else always results in the other three fingers pointed back at self with a thumb holding them there. If that thumb ever lets go, then all you have left is the hand of Jesus extended to give the accused a hand up, just like Jesus did with the woman caught in sin.
---Linda_Smith on 2/16/07

The main reason why a lot of Christians are NOT obedient is because they believe the concept of 'Once saved- always saved.' They don't realize they're setting themselves up for failure with this mindset! Their attitude is "Christ has saved me no matter what I do", thus continuing to live a sinful lifestyle!
Christ made it clear- take up your cross and follow me! We must live an obedient life to God- as sin free as possible- that we may be found worthy to enter the Heavenly Kingdom!
---DePuTy on 2/16/07

On a further note, one can be a friend of Christ but be an enemy of the cross of Christ. To be an enemy of the cross of Christ, all one has to do it step beyond the borders of the crucifixion of Christ. One aspect of that border is that "we judge thus, that if one died for all, then all died" and that accusers were nailed to the cross. The accuser, the devil, is always the accuser of the BRETHREN. When accusations fly from believers, guess where they are issuing from. Hint: It isn't God.
---Linda_Smith on 2/16/07

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It's cute to see that we who are against fault finding are finding fault with the fault finders.LOL.
The problem with fault finding is that it's usually not done with love but with malice and therefore causes much damage. They will usually quiet down when another fault finder exposes something they are doing wrong.
---john on 2/16/07

I know some believers who are just like you said. Perhaps they have not looked in the mirror lately. I have found over the years that the very thing that some people complain about is the thing that they are struggling with themselves.
---Susie on 2/16/07

greetings.Is your friend correct as you know the truth?John the baptist purposely exposed faults in others.Are there similiarities between them?
---earl on 2/16/07

Fault finding is a favourite pastime for people in general, believers or not. Paul even spoke against it:2 Thessalonians 3:11, "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies."
---Bruce5656 on 2/16/07

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Madison, I have a song.

Ain't righteous

When a man he serves the Lord, it makes his life worthwhile.
It don't matter 'bout his position, it don't matter 'bout his lifestyle.
Talk about perfection, I ain't never seen none
And there ain't no man righteous, no not one.

Sometimes the devil likes to drive you from the neighborhood.
He'll even work his ways through those whose intentions are good.
---Rural_Cafe on 2/16/07

Madison, I have a similar friend who goes around criticizing every single person, Christians and non-Christians. These people have critical spirits. They judge others to make themselves feel superior, more important than others. They are really insecure and inferior and use thier criticisms to make themselves feel important, better than others. We should stay away from these type of folks, they are toxic people. I pray for them from a distance, I cannot fellowship with them anylonger.
---donna6598 on 2/16/07

Some like to worship on the moon, others are worshipping the sun
And there ain't no man righteous, no not one.

Look around, ya see so many social hypocrites
Like to make rules for others while they do just the opposite.

Put your goodness next to God's and it comes out like a filthy rag....
And there ain't no man righteous, no not one.

Done so many evil things in the name of love, it's a crying shame
I never did see no fire that could put out a flame.
---Rural_Cafe on 2/16/07

God got the power, man has got his vanity,
Man gotta choose before God can set him free.
Don't you know there's nothing new that's under the sun?
Well, there ain't no man righteous, no not one.

When I'm gone don't wonder where I be.
Just say that I trusted in God and that Christ was in me.
Say He defeated the devil, He was God's chosen Son
And that there ain't no man righteous, no not one.

by Bob Dylan
---Rural_Cafe on 2/16/07

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Matthew 7:3-5 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, let me remove the speck from your eye, and, look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Christians tend to forget it is the Lord that makes the difference between "saint" and "sinner".
---debba4885 on 2/16/07

The fault finder is not always at fault, not when discretion is close at hand.

The awful truth is it's much harder to work diligently on yourself then it is to go around blasting everyone else.

Peter said people do this when they have forgotten that they had to be forgiven of their own sins and called such a one nearsighted, (2Peter 1:9) but a spiritual laziness can also be a root and as they become dissatisfied with their own spiritual progress their denial transfers to everyone else.
---Pharisee on 2/16/07

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