In the past two Sundays someone turned in his/her communication card anonymously with the same message to the staff. The content of the person’s message was about his/her description of what he/she thinks he/she is hearing from Sunday messages and his/her desire to hear different kinds of messages.
When I received the card the first time, I was a bit puzzled and wondered who the person might be. However, when I received the card for the second time in a row, I began to worry about the person’s state of mind and his/her spiritual condition. First of all, when we write things anonymously that are not positive or uplifting to others, it shows that we are living in darkness. 1 John 1: 5-7 says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” Anonymity when we are doing the acts of kindness is a good thing. It shows that we are concerned more about God receiving all the glory than us getting people’s attention. But anonymity, when we are not building others up, shows that we don’t have true fellowship with God or people.
Second, when we write things anonymously that are not positive or uplifting to others, it shows that we are immature. Paul says, “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4: 15) This means, if we don’t learn how to tell the truth in love, we will never be able to grow or mature to be more like Christ. Telling the truth in love is not an easy thing. It is not something that children are familiar with but the mature adults are. And we must continue to grow up into Christ as we learn to speak the truth in love.
Third, when we write things anonymously that are not positive or uplifting to others, it shows that we have a resentful or grumbling spirit. And if you do this repeatedly, it shows all the more that you are struggling with bitterness and resentment.
At this time, I would like to warn all of you about the danger of gossiping, because it is no different from a person criticizing others anonymously, except that it is done by a group. When we gossip, it reveals that we are living in darkness, we are immature, and we are grumbling.
When you have a genuine concern, request, or question for the staff, there are many different ways to address it. You can call or email the staff. You can make an appointment with the staff and come and meet with him/her. You can use the communication card during Sunday worship, as long as you don’t do it anonymously. Then, we can follow up with you, by asking what you really meant, if necessary. Otherwise, how can we possibly know what it is that you exactly desire in terms of message? How can we ask you questions to better understand your request, and accurately assess where you are coming from, and determine if what you are asking is legitimate or not?
Interestingly, people have been coming up to me more than usual the past four Sundays to thank me for the messages that I shared with New Life. This tells me that a speaker can never satisfy everyone at all times. That’s why it is not just the speaker who needs to prepare his heart and message well. Listeners must also prepare their hearts and minds properly so they could always learn something from what they hear especially during Sunday worship messages.
The staff members here at New Life are more than willing and ready to listen to your suggestions, thoughts and comments if you would just approach them with love and respect.
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