Sunday, July 08, 2007

Scolding for Jesus?

She was scolded by a church member for not knowing that her budget was over-spent. He was scolded by a staff person because he did not go through the right channels and offended him. I get scolded once in a while for overstepping my bounds, choosing a new hymn, or not consulting with someone who felt left out. There are some people in the churches I've served who really like to scold others into compliance, telling them off for their own good! Often the scolding persons are technically "right". A procedural step was skipped, an authorization was not signed the right way, the group did leave the room a mess, etc.
But does scolding anyone really do any good? Have you ever been scolded into good behavior? Has a good scolding softened your heart toward God and the other person? No, I'll bet not.
I think that some Christians have switched the 12 disciples for the 7 dwarfs, and take numbers to be the designated "grumpy." Some think that it is a necessary organizational behavior to grump on board (ever heard someone say that they are just being the "devil's advocate?") and scold others for their stupid mistakes and inept behavior. Scorn too often becomes the seasoning and flavor of conversations among Christians: contemporary music lovers scorn traditionalist with choirs and organs, and traditionalists can scorn those who sing "7-11" songs (seven words sung eleven times in a row). Old-timers can scorn the ignorance of new-comers to time-tested traditions and new-comers can scorn the encrusted resistance of traditionalists. Pastors routinely scorn meddlesome lay-people and I know lay-people scorn imperious pastors. Local churches scorn remote and removed denominational officials and denominational leaders scorn disloyal local pastors who don't raise support for their causes.
So, when did Jesus appoint anyone to scold anyone else? As I read and preached on Luke 10:1-12 today, I read Jesus telling us to bring the announcement of "Peace to this house" and "the Kingdom of God has already come near" to both those who accept and reject the gospel. The only biblical "scolder" I am immediately conscious of is Jonah....grumping away about Nineveh's sinfulness and God's compassion.
I think I need to try a totally "scold-free" week and see what happens.


At 10:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard for me to read the prophets. They are such scolders! And that part where Jesus calls the Pharisees whitened sepulchres. That must have been added by some scolder later on....

At 1:58 PM , Blogger Mom2three said...

I was just reading about scolding last night while reading Eggerichs' book "Love & Respect. I must say, it does not paint a pretty picture of me... I'm working on de-scolding myself to be a kinder more encouraging person. Thank you for your insight!


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