Christian, Heal Thyself

My friend David wrote something yesterday that struck me well:

I almost wrote a long rant about how Joel Osteen is what’s wrong with Christianity in America today.

Then I realized that I’m what’s wrong with Christianity. And the world. I loathe my self-rightousness, my unbelief and my callousness, my contempt and unlove for others. There are things I disagree with about Mr. Osteen’s ministry and his book, things that I think are detrimental to the growth of the kingdom, but I don’t know that it’s my place to vigorously criticize him. Maybe instead I should be worried about how I am furthering God’s kingdom, and how He has called me to impact my world.

David goes on to develop this point, but I did take away this thought after reading that [and, for once, coming to a full stop: there’s certainly a legitimate place for criticism, but when we, as Christians, become known more for our railings against those with whom we disagree—even when we see them as false prophets and are doing our Biblical duty to call them out—than we are for our meager works of faith, borne of a spirit of grace, humility, and servitude, then … then we’re really failing Christianity and the world.

Ripping others to shred is the easy thing; Kingdom work isn’t. Which are we called to do?