A word from Jesus, and Paul (and Rebekah, and Derek)

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Having invited everyone to join us for worship this morning, now I’d like to connect you all with a short video my wife, Rebekah, made a few days ago (“What Jesus thinks of criticism“). I believe it’s not only worth looking at but also important, really important, in these challenging times.

The video is part of a series of daily devotional messages recorded for our church family. Each morning, four or five times a week, Rebekah offers a short meditation designed to help us all stay connected during the pandemic. This particular message is being downloaded and shared at a rate far and away beyond what is typical.

Rebekah’s videos are not slick, they are not flawlessly produced, they are not rerecorded umpteen times until they are smooth. But they are direct, honest, heartfelt, and accessible; her messages – like her sermons – are 100% “authentic”.

Hit a nerve…

All these devotionals are worth listening to; but this particular video evidently hit a hot nerve in the 2020 cultural “moment” we occupy. Why? Because we live in a time where too many people are more than ready to:

  • criticize rather than offer a helpful idea,
  • tear down when they could just as easily build up,
  • point out what is wrong instead of applaud what is right,
  • become part of a tear-down mob, when joining a team working toward positive solutions makes so much more sense.

This is true when it comes to politics, schools and education, social media, news reporting, “culture wars”, and even on occasion The Church, the body of Christ.

We recommend listening to Jesus!

Rebekah addresses this destructive problem directly, clearly, positively, constructively, and with good humor.

If you are someone (or know someone) who is quick to find fault, someone who easily falls into the habit of gratuitous criticism, then there is both a challenge here for you and – fortunately – a lot of good news too.

Jesus was clear when it comes to the imperative to encourage, so was the Apostle Paul. Why would any of us go against their teachings? Especially if we are – supposedly – in the business of telling the Good News story of love, light, and life…?

Peace and more peace – DEREK

PS – click here for Rebekah’s video

Bible Current News relationships The Church

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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