The ultimate prince charming, “Phillip”, (from Sleeping Beauty) is used in this article to protect the not-so-innocent.
When "Christians" Betray You
By Stacie Ruth Stoelting
“Total package,” announced Grandma Hilda, who twinkled and patted my hand. She seemed right: “Phillip’s” 1,000 watt smile, endless church commitments, and Jesus-talk whisked me off my feet. He showered me with attention, talked marriage, and snowed my parents.
My mother turned into a professor lecturing me on Marriage 101. Yes, marriage seemed just around the corner. It elated me to think God had provided someone so wonderful for me.
Slice! A dagger stabbed my heart: “Phillip” cheated…with someone at his church. Then, he blamed me for his infidelity and insulted me. He liked me for external qualities – including my being a speaker, actress, and singer. He couldn’t keep up “the Christian courtship act” any longer.
I felt like someone died. Sheer shock. Flashbacks to his flashy smile, Jesus-talk, and unkempt promises crashed over me like numbing, heavy waves. Man, it hurt.
After the break-up, friends cautiously emerged from hiding: Other “copycat Christians” had played the same game of false blame. Upon learning the true Christians wouldn’t compromise, the copycats dumped them faster than junk mail. They blamed the true Christians.
Copycats use Christianity to date/court. They flaunt faith through outward acts and Bible facts. They talk all about what they do for Jesus rather than what Jesus did for them. They think they know Jesus, but their actions totally deny Him (See 1 John 1-5, 2 John, 3 John).
Hey, Jesus knows what it is like to be betrayed by a “Christian.” Judas talked like a mature believer and snowed people. People never expected Judas of being the traitor. Suddenly, Judas sent Jesus to the cross with a kiss.
But we don’t focus on Judas. So why should we focus on modern-day versions of Judas? We serve Jesus – not Judas!
Jesus warned and encouraged us: “…in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33, NIV). Jesus said “in me” and not “in Christians.”
We follow Christ, not Christians. We are all simply imperfect people who recognize their immense need for a Savior.
Follow Jesus – not the Judas in your life.
- Realize some people mislabel themselves. Would you drink a cup of chlorine bleach mislabeled as Kool-Aid? No way! The distinct odor of chlorine would turn you off. C’mon, folks. Anyone can say they’re Christians. Actions speak louder than words. Jesus said to know them by their fruits (what they’re producing in their lives). Some people produce really rotten fruit –even worse than that no-longer-identifiable, stinky fruit in your fridge! Real Christians produce quality, sweet-smelling fruit in their lives.
- Separate the copycats from Christ. Don’t mix ‘em up. Christ remains loving, true, and real. The devil wants you to blame God. That way, you’ll be destroyed and no longer a threat to his plans. Just remember: “Religious” people put Jesus to death. But He arose! He’ll help you arise from your heartache. He’ll fill you with life again! People fail and bail. But Jesus stays and loves us always.
- Place purpose to your pain: God won’t waste it. He will reward you (here and hereafter) and heal you over time. Let’s use our pain to reach out to hurting hearts. God “…comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. (2 Cor. 1:4, NCV)
- Righteous indignation is a natural reaction. But we must forgive (let it go) and let God punish. “Vengeance is Mine…” –Almighty God (as spoken in Deut. 32:35, NKJV)
- Feel dumped like garbage? Stop it. You are treasure! Memorize Scripture detailing God’s unfailing love for you. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” - Jesus. We simply need to accept His healing and not fight it off like injured puppies snapping at their owners’ hands. (Gal pals, let’s remember the profound Scripture: “For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts…” -Is. 54:5, NASB)
- Make it a “learning and leaning” experience. Learn of and lean on Jesus –not people. Life isn’t found in a husband or wife. Life is in Jesus! Be sure you know Him –not just about Him. Why? If you know Him, you know what I know: Real love and joy drench us when we trust in Jesus! Click here to meet Him.
Stacie Ruth's passion for Jesus combines with professionalism to propel events to higher levels! Why? She steps aside and points people to God Most High. Discover why she's sung/spoken for a former President, been pictured in major media (The New York Times and USA Today), written a book at age 15, and keynoted conferences since she was a teenager. Today, she offers a new conference for those hurting from job losses, financial troubles, depression, grief, diseases (like Alzheimer’s), and other heartaches through her national conference, The Heart Hospital. Her new album, Heavenly, will release nationally in April. To watch video clips, listen to music, view and download photos for articles, and other features, visit www.stacieruth.com or www.brightlightministry.com.
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