• Pastor Lorie Nichols

Me and My Big Red Barn

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

The Bible is real clear about what is right and wrong. We are supposed to live our lives as Christians according to what the Bible says, and the Bible covers every aspect of life. It says in James 1:22 (KJV), to be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving you own selves. Man can live according to what they think is right, however, in Proverbs 14:12 it says, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (KJV)

I like to do right and live right according to the Scriptures. This way of living is stability for me, a safeguard so to say. Sometimes it bothers people, I am sure, but I do it to please God and not man. I am a Christian spiritual leader, therefore, I must live right, talk right, and do right because I am the lead for others to follow, if they so choose. It is in me so strong that I often feel like Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In the movie he explained the do's and don't of touring the chocolate factory, and then watched each child disobey. He quietly stood there saying, "don't do that; I told you not to do that." I watch people do the same thing, however, at times I know it is because they do not know what the Scriptures say.

I do not always like correcting what is wrong, but someone has got to say something when there is error. Saying something to someone who is headed toward a cliff is an act of love. If you are a leader, and God has put someone in your pathway, and He is prompting you to say something, then say it! Praying about it will not work. We live in a world that is run by signs, laws, and rules to be obeyed; also, for the same reason they keep us safe and protected.

What are Christian leaders afraid of? Why aren't they talking to those who are in error in the body of Christ and outside of the body of Christ? It seems as though we would rather talk about people, or label them as out there, instead of sitting down with them in gentleness, in kindness, and speaking the loving truth to them. God honors leaders who speak the truth (Bible) in love; leaders who can gently speak to their flocks and others in correction when needed. We, as leaders, do not always have to correct, but there are times when someone has got to say something and not be afraid to do it.

Without correction you are eventually going to have a sin infested camp where people are running wild doing their own thing whether it's wrong or not. These people will look like those who Jesus saw in scripture and labeled them as sheep being led to the slaughter, without real leadership. The theology that says, God is love and nothing else, is wrong. He is love, that is correct, but He is also a loving parent that disciplines His children, and He will use leaders after His own heart to do it, if need be.

Strong biblical leadership is needed. This leadership would be the leaders who have allowed the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and mentors to clean up their lives. These are the ones who can be used by God because they care about the spiritual good of others. When I see error it bothers me, not for my sake but for the person in error. It doesn't seem right to me for them to not know what they are doing is wrong. I believe anyone can be corrected with gentleness and kindness. Whether they take heed to the correction or not is up to them. As a leader, my job is to say something!

A leader knows when to speak and when to keep quiet. We are the Ecclesiastes type of people who have the wisdom and insight for people's lives; people are our business. We know when to let people go in what they are doing and when to stop them. This is not judging them coming from a leader's perspective. It is doing your job and caring about others. The Prophets of old were always getting in trouble with people, not God. Why was that? It was because they were sent by God to correct and persuade others to turn from wickedness, error, and following their own ways instead of God's. This was not always popular, but yet it was needed, and it is how God still does it.

Without sound leadership in the church and in the body of Christ at large, you can have a spiritual mess. It is not because there is a lack of love, as some would like to blame it on, rather, it is because there is a lack of truth spoken in love to people, especially when we see them saying and doing things that do not or will not spiritually benefit them. Normally, if you have to speak correction, as the Holy Spirit leads, it works best in small groups or one on one with others, not from behind the pulpit. Not everyone needs corrected. Leaders, when you see someone in error and you are given the opportunity, I would hope you would care enough to say something to them and not just pray about it, because someone has got to say something.

If you are full of love, mercy, and truth to do this, you are a good candidate to be a leader after God's own heart and to turn people from the error of their ways. I believe there are crowns waiting in Heaven for leaders who care. I am reminded of stories I hear from supervisors and leaders in factories. They say there are very few people who really care about the product they are producing, and most leaders are the same. I see this also in my line of work; not everyone is caring about the quality of Christians that are being produced in the body of Christ. People cannot develop on their own. In the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 29:15, KJV ) it says a child left to himself will bring his mother shame.

I have been accused of being a person of rules, but this does not offend me. It makes me glad that I can be persecuted in that way. God's ways are not a burden to me, but a blessing for me to follow.

Growing up I did not take heed to any rules or advice from my parents or others, and it brought me and them much grief. I do not ever want to be like that again. I look at God's signs, laws, and rules as protective because I am loved; they keep me on the straight and narrow path. My desire is for others to be on that same path with me. So, what's wrong with being corrected? What's wrong with having rules and laws? What's wrong with having a sign or two that says wrong way or slow down? Nothing is wrong with any of this; it is love!

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