Kingdom Translation

It’s funny how we as believers are misguided by our own sinful hearts leading us to say things we really don’t mean and mean things we would never say.  Let me give just a few translations to some statements I’ve heard from believers and ministers over the last few months and over the last few years.   Let them be waving red flags the next time you hear yourself say them (or want to say them)  Allow the Holy Spirit to stop you in your tracks.

What is said and/or thought will be represented by “S:”   What I mean is… will be represented by “M:”

For Believers In General

S: “I can’t do that, God.  I just can’t.”  M: (translation: this means that ) I believe God is not strong enough to do what He’s telling me He can do through me.  I believe that I’m smarter than God and that my ways are higher than His.  He must be wrong because I’m unequipped for the task He’s asking of me.”

S: “That idea was mine to begin with.”  “I think I’m going to lower the bonus I give out this year by just a little so I can give myself a little bit better bonus.  After all, I work the hardest and it’s my company to begin with.”  “I’m careful with my money.  God, I know you’re tugging on my heart to give to that non-profit, but I’ve got bills to pay and financial goals.  I’m a good steward.”    M: “I’m greedy and want everything for myself.”

S: “Satan was attacking me.  I was just so under attack this week.  Satan is to blame again!  Let’s just move on from this disagreement.”  M: I am unwilling to admit that I gave in to Satan’s lie which was meant to destroy our relationship.  I am unwilling to take ownership for my own sins and short-comings.  I believe that if I can just put all the attention on Satan then I can avoid taking any responsibility for my own poor choices.” 

S: “I heard that… is being kicked out.  Can you believe pastor would be so heartless.”  M: I’m willing to assume the worst of people and believe a lie before I believe the truth.  I’m willing to throw my pastor under the bus before I have an awkward conversation with my friend.”

S: “Who am I to judge?  I’m not God.”  M: “I am unwilling to apply Matthew 18 to my life – Jesus’ clear instructions for speaking the truth in love and confronting someone I truly care about.”

S: “That’s just what they think!  They think they’ve had the last word but they haven’t!  Where do they get off!  Who do they think they are?”   M: “I’m more concerned with being ‘right’ and making sure everyone knows that they’re wrong than I am concerned with being righteous – truly humble and blameless in the eyes of God.  I am unwilling to “do everything with my power to make things right” as God’s Word instructs me to.”

For Christian Leaders

S: “I can’t believe they’re planting a church in my town!  How dare they!?  Don’t they know that this is my territory!  They are so audacious and inconsiderate!”  M: I believe I’m the King.  I no longer assert that God is King and I’m a part of HIS greater Kingdom and I’m not happy with the fact that King Jesus wants to give me a partner – as if I need help in reaching the entire population of my city.  Me and my staff alone can reach and disciple everyone within a 30 mile radius of our church.”    

S: “I’ve found that every time I try to work with another church when I’m not in charge of the project, things get out of hand so God has taught me to just do what I’m called to do.”  M: “I’m full of pride.  I believe that my ideas are always better than everyone else’s and I’m unwilling to serve the heart and vision of another leader to accomplish a Kingdom task.  I am more equipped and better suited to lead than others.  I am unwilling to put aside my agenda in order to receive God’s heart for my city.”

S: “I’m going to make my staff and volunteer leaders feel threatened by what I say.  I’m going to make them feel less spiritual than I am.  I’m going to guilt them into doing this!”   M: “I’m full of fear.  I’m afraid that people won’t follow me and I’m afraid to shed to much spotlight on someone else.  I’m afraid of rejection and I’m afraid that I don’t have what it takes so I’ll manipulate people into getting them to do for me what I want done.  I’ve lost sight of God’s LOVE for my staff and those we’re trying to reach.”

Jordan Biel