Ministry Resources

Coffee Stains: O Solo Mia!

Author: David Porter

The spotlight flashes on a dark-complexioned fellow with three others backing him up. The orchestra swings into the Italian love song, “Oh, Solo Mia!

Oh, sola mia! Macaroni, spagetti. Lasagne, capaletti. Multo bénit also.” And behind him, the backup singers begans to sing and shimmy, “Doo wah, doo wah, doo wah ditty. Talkin’ bout the girl from New York City …

The great singer stops and looks around. “What are you singing! You’re supposed to be backing me up but you’re singing another song!

He turns to start again, and two of the back-up singers begin to whisper, “He thinks he’s really good but “Oh, Solo Mia” is sooo 1950’s.” “Yeah,” says the other. “And look at that greasy kid stuff in his hair.

Our man turns and shoots his backup singers a withering gaze. “Out! Out of my site!” The two slink off, still murmuring one to the other.

Act 2

Does this little story sound a bit like the place you work? Or you family? Or your church? Leadership is trying to sing one song and follower-ship is singing another? And if leadership points it out…

I never really thought about criticizing my pastor until I was about 12 and I heard the lady behind me say some catty things about him. Mamaw and Grandad always took us to church and in all those years I don’t think I heard them criticize the pastor once.

Critics don’t realize the ravages they make in the lives of young Christians. Or maybe they don’t care. The landscape is littered with the remains of young ones who got caught up in the behind-the-back campaign against leadership of old hands in the church (or at work even).

And the Holy Spirit ceases to flow because He refuses to act in places where Christians don’t love each other. Love in Christ expressed through respect for others supercharge the atmosphere in which the Holy Spirit works.

Paul told a church,

“For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” (2 Cor. 12:20)

And God steps back from a church like that. Young Christians turn away from the Lord in an atmosphere like that. They’re disappointed that Christians don’t act like the Lord. Where in the world did they get the idea that Christians ought to be like Jesus? (Hint: probably the Bible and the Holy Spirit)

Or they become as hard and critical as their examples are. That may be worse.

Does that mean we have to accept everything that happens, even if it’s wrong? No. But if you think something is wrong, go to the person himself, don’t whisper behind his back. If he won’t hear you, take another (mature) Christian with you and talk to him.  If he still won’t hear, talk to leadership. Keep your attitude right and and the tone of your voice normal. Always remember, You may be wrong !

When you go, it’s not enough to speak the truth. You must pray and get your attitude right so that when you talk to the other person, you can do it as God wants you to.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Eph. 4:15.

We have no right to speak the truth until we can say it in love. We need to be singing from same page if we want to see God bless. We won’t all sing the same part. But we’ll be united in our white-hot desire to communicate the most beautiful message anyone ever heard:

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4, 5)

Hmmm …

One measure of our likeness to Christ is our sensitivity to the suffering of others. (Anon.)

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