Where's Your Focus?

Isn’t it funny how we can agree with 90% of what someone says but we focus, twitter and blog about the other 10%.

And just so I’m clear by “funny” I really mean sad and pathetic.

Why do we do this?

Why do we poke fun?

Why do we take cheap jabs?

Why do we criticize?

Why do we belittle?

Is it about defending truth and protecting a generation against false prophets? Ummmm, usually not.

We usually do it because we somehow think it justifies our stance. Because surely we couldn’t both be right. Surely more than one model wouldn’t work.

We usually do it because our ego has been damaged and it just makes us feel better to tear someone else down. I hate this part of me, but I know from experience tearing others down can briefly make me feel better about myself.

We usually do it because we ourselves have been a victim of criticism and we’re reacting from our hurt. The old adage that “hurt people, hurt people” is so true and alive and well in the church today.

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.Matthew 7:3-5

Can I make a suggestion? Instead of focusing on the 10%, why don’t we build relationships based on the 90%. And as God opens doors let’s speak into one another’s lives. Let’s focus on being one and allow God’s Spirit to bring about the change to His body He desires.

Trust me. I don’t agree with everything my pastor friends believe. I don’t believe in all of their theology, strategies, personalities, and models, but I’ve found we’re still on the same team and we can accomplish a lot more together than we can tearing each other apart.

If listening to that pastor’s messages ticks you off, then don’t listen.

If articles about the missional church drive you crazy, then don’t read them.

If the growth of the attractional church makes you angry, then stop tracking their numbers.

If every time you read his blog or her blog you find yourself fighting a wave of jealousy, then unsubscribe.

Now I know some of you are going to say “but how do we bring about change if we don’t challenge, question and push back?” I’m all for challenging, but I think there is a way we can do this with respect, love, and grace. There is a way we can engage in a conversation without throwing stones and taking public shots at each other.

Focus on the change you need to bring to your life, to your church. Worry about the “log” and give the “speck” a break.

I think our firestorms of criticism are doing immense damage to the body of Christ. Not only are we distracting each other from our main mission, we are simply playing right into the hands of those outside the faith who already think we’re trite and hypocritical.

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Pete Wilson is the founding pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN and author of a new book entitled Plan B, his thoughts about what to do when life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. He is a frequent blogger on his popular ministry blog, WithoutWax.tv. Pete is married and has three sons.