I was just wrapping up the plans for my Sunday School class when I wrote down the last sentence to the story of David and Jonathan. The words I was writing stood out on the page in bold letters:
Jonathan protected David
I didn’t have to ponder it long. Sadly, I knew the answer to that question. And heavy conviction washed over me in a tidal wave of sorrow.
When we received Christ and were baptized, we became part of the body of Christ worldwide, and entered into a covenant relationship with all who are part of that body.
Rather than protecting those we are in covenant with – as Jonathan protected David – we sometimes take on the role of Saul and seek to destroy them.
At one time I got very much caught up in this. I criticized ministries, pastors, and musicians. I spoke out against pastors of large churches who had a philosophy of ministry different than my own. I condemned worship leaders who led differently than I would lead, and against Christians who held different standards than I. I even attacked fellow missionaries – fellow workers in the ministry who have the same vision and calling that I do.
The more I criticized the more I found to criticize.
Accusing the brethren day and night.
Shooting poisonous arrows filled with my own spiritual pride.
Annihilating their reputation.
I often did not know the whole story, only what I read in a Christian magazine (which is often tainted by the writer’s opinion) or watched on YouTube. How accurate is that? I often quoted someone’s quote without bothering to do my own homework to find out if the quote was in context or not – or what the speaker was actually trying to say. Thus I formed an opinion and freely shared it with all who would listen.
I failed to keep my part of the covenant of Christian brotherhood.
It is easier to break this covenant than to keep it. It is not easy to stop a slanderer or a gossip and tell them you cannot listen to their poisonous words. It takes great courage to do so. It is easier to entertain negative and critical thoughts than it is to reign them in and bring them under control.
And yet, this is part of Christian covenant.
Being our brother’s keeper