Christians behaving badly – selfish ambitions

This article was published on: 28 August, 2012
Last modified on 12 February, 2021

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Christian mud slinging:

Mud thrown at a man and sticking to his T-shirt - Christians behaving badly.
Mud thrown at a man and sticking to his T-shirt – Christians behaving badly.

My blog has been very quiet lately – why?
The reason is that I have felt very battered because of Christians behaving badly.
God’s work in which we were involved in has been snuffed out!

When you cut through the façade it boiled down to being trampled on by a local Christian’s selfish ambitions.

The thing that made it really hard to stomach was that it came from a church leader who wanted to start their OWN work.
Even talking to that person they said “I want to start a work in ……”
Which meant knocking out the work we were doing in the school and the village!
Why? I thought we were all serving the same King.

Why should the work of God be stopped by Christians behaving badly?

Selfish ambition, lies and false allegations.
How could something, that we believe was initiated by the Lord, end in such a bad way?
The answer is found in Jeremiah:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Yes I was battered and Satan kept coming at me.
I was on the back foot! – like Gideon peering out of the winepress:

The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.”

Judges 6:11
Angel appearing before Gideon
Angel appearing before Gideon. Woodcut between 1851 and 1860 [i]

But God has a bigger, greater plan than what we had in mind – a far bigger picture.

Still feeling peaceful?

The “plans to prosper you” verse in Jeremiah probably makes us think of money but the word ‘prosper’ here actually means ‘shalom’ which is peace.

But it is much more than that, the root meaning is “to be whole” to be in harmony and have wholeness.
God’s plan for our life is to bring us to wholeness, to bring us into harmony and to not be stressed, or fearful.

Selfish ambition, lies, false allegations, Christians behaving badly, are terrible and those people will have to give an account of their behaviour, but God’s plan for me is to make me whole – to bring me into harmony, regardless of my surroundings!

Gideon was hiding in the winepress and thinking:

“Why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders? ….the Lord has abandoned us and has put us into the hand of Midian.”

But do you know what the Lord said through his angel:

When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”

Judges 6:12

I expect the Lord was saying that to me – but I couldn’t hear it.
I should have believed that God is all powerful.
I should have kept on pushing forward with God.

Are you hitting a tough patch?
Have you been betrayed by Christian friends?
Do you feel abandoned?
Perhaps the Lord is saying to you:

The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

Judges 6:12

Read the next article: Views on what makes a sin terrible or acceptable

Or read this article on a different website: 6 Reasons Why Christians Behave Badly (opens in a new window)

[i] Woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794–1872) a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art.

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By Peter Reason

Copyright for NotManyWise: Peter Reason © 2004-2022 Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28


  1. From a purely personal viewpoint (and a limited viewpoint) I would say that in the USA it is more ‘in fashion’ to go to church and that brings it’s own set of problems – the ones that you have listed.
    Whereas in the UK it is only about 5 to 8 percent of the population that attend church. I would say that in the UK there are very few churches with prosperity teachers and not many centered on supernatural signs and wonders.
    Thanks for your comments.
    From Peter

  2. Well, probably 2/3 of the “pastors” out there were not called by God but rather by themselves. So we have too many churches without a true shepherd and probably in the USA we have too many churches, period. Too many places that are country clubs, too many that are feel good centers, too many that are prosperity teachers, too many centered on supernatural signs and wonders and not enough on the GOSPEL!!! Do not lose heart, if you are called, God will not be stopped and He will make a way!

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