Written by cycleguy on May 13th, 2020

I just finished reading When to Walk Away by Gary Thomas, a book I mentioned in my last post about Finding Freedom from Toxic People.  It has been a really good book, one that will take some time digesting and reading over the highlighted thoughts and sections. I want to use one of the thoughts as a springboard for this post.

If you are like me you tire-and I mean really tire-of people accusing us of basically being mean and narrow and bigoted.  You say something they don’t agree with and you can hear it coming from a million miles away: “Aren’t you Christians supposed to forgive? How come you aren’t acting like a Christian?” Or they will say, “You are nothing more than a narrow, bigoted hypocrite.”  To quote Gary:

They don’t really care if we’re acting like a Christian though. They just want us to do what they want us to do, and they’re using our faith as a weapon to manipulate and control. (p.146)

I always find it interesting when someone who does not claim any allegiance to Christ or to Christianity or to Biblical principles tries to lecture us on those very same issues. Do you sense a disconnect here?  People like this are masters at lecturing or deciding for us how we are supposed to act AND YET they make no claim-they even scoff at the idea-of following Christ.  The problem as I see it is that the atheist or the non-conformist or the immoral person wants to spout off their junk, but when someone questions them or stands against them they rear their ugly head in shock and toxicity and shame-throwing. They are masters at lecturing us how we ought to behave and yet are unwilling to listen to the truth because it will go against their carefully crafted lifestyle and belief system.  They aren’t so much interested in me acting like a Christ-follower should as much as they want me and you to do what they want us to do.  Long story short: approve of their lifestyle and belief system and not counter them or make them feel guilty.

My purpose as a follower of Christ is to please God. To bring fame to His Name. To honor Him in all things.  I have to keep in mind my approval by others is not on the table. Don’t allow someone to manipulate you into playing his games by his rules.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Well said, Bill. It is getting increasingly difficult these days for Christians to stand up for their beliefs and faith. But then, look at what they did to Christ!

    These days, if you say you don’t support abortion; they accuse you of being against freedom of choice, or anti-women freedom. If you’re against euthanasia, they accuse you of supporting suffering. There’s a derogatory statement or word for everything we believe and stand for.

    God bless.

    • cycleguy says:

      You are so right Victor. To take a stand for Christ is getting tougher to do. And that whole last paragraph? So true. You can add in the whole “homophobe” thing as well.

  2. The kind of people described here, Bill, are those who will never be pleased with you unless you agree with them; don’t we see lots of that in politics these days? Our purpose as Christians is to please God, not others.
    I think this is another book to place on my wish list. 🙂

    • cycleguy says:

      I totally agree with you Martha, about the perception and about the politics. I get so tired of the constant posturizing. To please God is to be our ultimate goal.

  3. gail kempe says:

    I hate that hot seat, and I’ve been in it, with people that I so truly love. I get so frustrated, and my responses that I wanted to say, do not come out as smooth and as clear as I want. Later when I say to that person, hey lets sit and talk about about our discussion and I just want to explain some things better than I did. All of the sudden they do not want to discuss it, and they will not discuss it.

    • cycleguy says:

      yeah, Gail, you are right. That hot seat is sometimes hard to sit in, especially when the tongue gets tied. As you relate though, often they don’t want clarification. Shows their bias.

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    Your words remind me of that wonderful verse of Paul’s- ‘we make it our goal to please Him.’

    That clarifies who we are and how we live. I love it.

  5. Pam says:

    Well said, Bill. When we tune in to the still small voice of God, the clamor around us becomes unimportant.

  6. Ed says:

    Our lifestyles and theirs… don’t match.. and aren’t supposed to. I wanted to fight them the other day, but I just decided to shut up and not convince them that either way is the wrong way… which they probably knew any how, but they wanted a fight that I wasn’t going to give them.

    • cycleguy says:

      The lifestyles don’t match. however, fighting won’t solve it either. In fact, I think it lowers us to their level. Glad you didn’t go there.