ARSON – Visible or Vocal part 2

A man believed to be the LA Arsonist who set approximately 50 fires that caused more than 2 million dollars in damage was caught recently by a Los Angeles Reserve Deputy.   Various reports state that this arsonist had terrorized West Hollywood for days.

One of the reasons the LA Arsonist was caught was because “a person of interest” was seen on a video near one of the fires that was set.  Many arsonists like to set fires, then hang around nearby and watch the damage & destruction as it’s being done. 

Some arsonists set visible fires – some set vocal fires (with their words, social media and/or blogs).   If you claim to be a follower of Christ, you shouldn’t set visible or vocal fires.  

God’s Word says…..

1 Cor 10:23-24 NASB   All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.

You may feel you have the freedom to say whatever you want, but as we saw in Part 1 of this Blog – we’ll be held accountable for every careless word.  In addition, Paul says you may feel you have the freedom to do certain things, but the higher standard is to ask yourself is it beneficial – does it build up – is it going to create a good situation for my neighbor?

Eph 4:29 NIV states:   Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Unwholesome words are those that are rotten & worthless.  Gossip, malicious attacks, words that are a result of anger, abusive speech, slander, careless words should be as repulsive to us as eating spoiled rotten food.

If you struggle with Vocal Arson consider the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus just prior to His crucifixion and resurrection in John 17…here’s a portion of that prayer….

John 17:20-23  NIV    “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

When we use words to attack one another we are in effect destroying the very thing Jesus prayed for and impacting those who are not followers of Christ in a negative way.

What do we do when we’ve blown it?

a.  Confess your sin to God.  1 John 1:9 NIV  says:  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

b.   Ask forgiveness from those you’ve hurt – if it’s private, do it privately – if it’s public – do it privately first and ask their permission to do it publicly. 

Eph 4:32 NIV  says:  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Jesus said in Matt 6:14-15 NIV – “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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