5 Signs the Enemy (Not God) Is Winning in Your Life and Leadership

Ready for the list? Here it is:

Hatred
Discord
Sexual immorality
Jealousy
Impurity and debauchery
Fits of rage
Dissension
Factions
Envy
Conceit

Sadly, too much of that sounds like church.

Even if you remove the sexual sins (which, tragically, are often present too), the list sounds like a job description for self-righteous Christians. But, actually, it’s Satan’s job description.

Contrast that with what the Holy Spirit generates in peoples’ lives. When the Holy Spirit gets hold of a person, a culture and a church, he produces:

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

The contrast could hardly be sharper.

But wait, you say, what if my conviction is from God? Come on, Carey, this doesn’t mean we just all lie down and hold hands and sing songs, does it?

Sure, occasionally we need a Martin Luther to nail 95 theses to the door. But most of us are not Martin Luther. And most of the time it isn’t 1517.

And even if you need to ‘take a stand,’ it’s probably not a stand for Jesus if it ultimately produces more division and bitterness than it does unity and love.

Sometimes love is tough, but love never ends tough. It ends sweet. It ends in reconciliation. And it ends in justice and hope. If your love doesn’t end with hope, it’s not love.

If you want to drill down a bit further, I’ve written about how the church today might be getting discipleship wrong in this post and again here.

Regardless, if your definition of Christianity is characterized by hate and division, it’s not Christianity.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.

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