PEOPLE ARE SUCH FRAGILE, LITTLE THINGS
is currently a disturbing, destructive practice of far too many
within the Body of Christ. It is the act of vilifying others on the
basis that their particular function in ministry, in the Body is
different from ours. Along with this error is the crime of
spiritualizing and therefore rationalizing our judgments and actions
concerning others to places beyond those permitted by Scripture or
by the Spirit of God.
are provided established limits: “ . . .
though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and
all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove
mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
When the Creator spoke worlds into existence, He provided banks for
every river with good cause. All the life-sustaining potential of
the river is both exhausted and becomes a destructive force without
the riverbank. Boundaries, borders, “riverbanks” are God’s
protection to those who would benefit from the waters contained by
Creation is a vast Treasury of Information, it is Heaven’s great
Example from which we learn and by which we live.
His creation, God provides a “thus far,”
preceded by His testimony, “I fixed
My limit . . .” That boundary is intended for much more than
the restraint of the Evil One. When our words, our actions, our
judgments arrive at or exceed redemptive limits, a “thus far and no farther” echoes from Father’s heart to ours. God is Healer and
Restorer, not Destroyer.
Those who have come out from Him will increasingly reflect the
Father’s character and nature in all their activity and
life-flow. The characteristics of the Father’s DNA will be found in
the son as
surely as biological traits flow from natural generation to natural
In personal testimony, my wife and I saw the divine DNA manifest a
number of years ago.
We were assisting a group of families who were attempting to move
through a difficult, interpersonal challenge, and found ourselves
tiptoeing through a minefield of emotions when suddenly, and in
spite of our most cautious steps, a spiritual explosion ripped
across the landscape of our carefully planned strategy to bring
everyone safely through their disagreements. The resulting
devastation was widespread, and several local churches became the
happy recipients of new “members” when the dust had settled.
The most spiritual among us, despite absolute best intentions, from
time to time fail in our relations with wounded and hurting brothers
and sisters. Not everyone engaged in interpersonal misunderstanding
is hopeful for the same outcome. Some want to experience God’s
remedies, His peace and joy, while others simply want to be “right.”
In the midst of that experience, my wife spontaneously uttered a
statement that has remained with us and helped us for more than 25
years now. She said, “People are such fragile little things.”
Her observation could be spoken more academically and with greater
panache’, but I doubt it could be expressed more genuinely or
accurately than she said it in the heat of the battle.
declaration has guided our efforts with others for a quarter
century. The spirit of that brief sentence also corresponds with
Jesus’ observation of every human heart created under the sun. He
talked about a “bruised reed” and “smoking flax”
to describe how fragile, how delicate, how easily broken we humans
If only mature, seasoned followers of Christ recognized this truth.
But of course, they do know it. It is disappointing, frustrating
when the so-called “mature” among us do not embody the Spirit that
Jesus exuded in His care for the weak, the wounded, the fragile and
the broken among us.
Indeed the use (abuse) of Scripture to hurl fiery brands at our
brethren should not even be an issue among those partakers of New
Creation life. However and alas, becoming “new” in Christ does not
immunize anyone against the persistent resuscitation of the fleshly
mind. With Paul, we soon discover that we must daily return to the
cross, and there die a day-by-day death to self and to the devices
of the flesh.
and too frequently, those who know best the letter of the law fail
to function from the “law of the spirit of life.”
Instead, the super abundant treasure house of Scripture becomes the
quiver from which arrows of destruction are drawn in our insensitive
and egotistic assaults on those we deem less spiritual, immature,
rebellious, irreligious or simply “different” from ourselves.
quote with the dramatic flair of Shakespearian orators, “Judge not
that ye be not judged,”
yet with the same tongue we issue decrees of criticism, censure,
judgment and condemnation. As our long-departed brother, James so
eloquently and forthrightly wrote, “Out of
the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these
things ought not to be so.”
To those who will not knuckle under our (supposed) mantels of
dominion and authority, our (supposed) various anointings and
giftings we assign the label, “Rebel!”
Those who cannot agree with – worse – will not submit to our vision
for ministry are branded “worldly minded,” stubborn resistors of
God, possessed of nebulous “spirits of control.”
If others will not concur with our doctrinal positions and
understandings, they are demon- inspired, perhaps even
We have our categories, our classifications, all neatly designed to
preclude any possibility that our judgments may be erroneous, that
we might actually see or know, at best, “in part.”
Simply stated, one man cannot know another man’s heart. We have not
been made, and are not capable, in all our spiritual and
mystical-sounding experience of third heaven visitations and
rarified prophetic revelations, to see, to discern, to know another
person’s heart. That territory is the exclusive province of Creator
and created. Even in this restricted airspace, the creation is often
ignorant of heart-elements that comprise his own being, let alone
those of another person.
heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can
Even we who have received a new heart by means of the efficacy of
the Cross can find ourselves completely unaware of the true motives,
the direction and the intentions of others’ hearts.
And since we cannot know, why do we speak? Since we cannot
comprehend, why do we criticize?
In times of need, we are thankful for the benevolent provision of a
word of knowledge, perhaps coupled with the companion gift of a word
of wisdom. However, even as these gifts find expression, there
exists no license for abuse or excuse for lashing out, for
the knowledge one has been given.
The Body is under sustained and deadly attack from multiple
viruses, diseases and infections. “Our
devil walks about like a roaring
lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Hell needs no assistance from Heaven’s clan in waging deadly
warfare against God’s elect. In the courtroom of spiritual opinion,
what my wounded brother needs, what my undiscerning sister cries out
for is the judgment of mercy, the ruling of grace, the verdict
established by the Adjudicator called Love.
“People,” after all, “are such fragile, little things.”