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Editorial: Five Things Christians Must Stop Doing to Others

AG evangelist and minister Mikel French reviews how to reach a society that is skeptical of Christianity because too often Christians' actions don't reflect God's Word.

In the midst of all the negativity surrounding Christians today, we must remember to be Christlike above all. We cannot let society push us to act or respond like them. As Christians, our actions are judged more harshly than what we say. Don’t just preach to others with our mouth; preach to others with our selfless acts, with our choice to take the high road, and our ability to stay true to the faith.

1.  Stop making it all about us: Mark Twain once said, “The world doesn't owe us anything, it was here first!” I feel we need to stop making everything about us. Yes, we are the main characters in our own movie; however, we are not THE main characters of life. Those who make it a point to somehow always draw the attention back to them are not seeing the bigger picture. We are but a grain in the sand and just a piece to the puzzle. Let us stop drawing attention to ourselves; by playing victim…by thinking we need special treatment…or by elevating thoughts of ourselves higher than we ought. Most of the time, it’s about others around us, but if we are too busy looking at ourselves, we will miss the real people that need the most of our attention.

Romans 12:3
"Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves."

2.  Stop complaining: Our time and energy can be spent doing something about it. Did you know that the amount of time that we spend thinking, contemplating, and talking about our problems will give us more anxiety than committing to solve the actual problem? The fear of pain is greater than the fear itself. Complaining may feel like we are accomplishing something, maybe it may even sound like we are rationalizing the problem out loud, but that’s just simply not the case. Jesus actually commands us not to worry, in fact, He commands us to be doers of The Word.

Ephesians 4:29
"Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. Let everything you say be good and helpful."

 3.  Stop making promises that can't be kept: Learn to speak and overdeliver rather than overpromise and underdeliver. Don’t be the person that says they’ll do this and do that — be the person that acts more than speaks. When God commanded the world to be formed, He said: “Let there be light,” and a ball of fire of an unimaginable size came into existence. He did not say; “Let there a ball of fire of an unimaginable size come to pass” and a light bulb existed. He said it and overdelivered, just as we should, also. If someone asks us of something, let our yes be yes, and no be no. If we cannot do it then have the courage to say so. Otherwise, anything beyond a simple yes or no is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37
Let your "Yes" be yes and your "No" be no. Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

4.  Stop gossiping: It's a lose-lose dilemma because it hurts others and it hurts our reputation. We may think we are just doing our part in spreading the word, but in reality, we are proving that we are not to be trusted with information. The persona receiving the gossip may be hurt from our ‘wealth’ of knowledge, but we are also damaging our reputation. If we are not saying anything nice, don’t speak at all.

Matthew 7:1-2
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

5.  Stop volunteering advice and just listen:  The more we talk the less they will listen. Sometimes, people just need an ear to hear them. This doesn’t mean we withhold our advice, it just means to not jump at every opportunity we feel like we are needed. Remember, it’s not about us when others share problems — it’s about them. It’s easy to get caught up in sounding like we have all the answers, when really all some people want is an open ear. It’s about them. They will ask for advice when they will actually apply it.

James 1:19
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."