HE PULLED UP MY FLOWERS!
One summer my husband, Harold, brought me in a flower that he had picked and said: "Donna, even the weeds you grow are pretty" then he added, "I got them all pulled up
for you." My helpful partner didn't know that I had wanted to brighten up that corner of the yard and had scattered some flower seeds along the edge of our property.
Well, we can all have a good chuckle that Harold mistook my flowers for weeds. The problem is that errors like this are happening in the church of God ...and it isn't funny because it hurts to be rejected by other believers. (I can speak from experience.)
We can learn some lessons in discernment by looking at the two reasons why Harold pulled up my flowers. One, he didn't recognize the flower; and secondly, it wasn't growing where he expected a flower to grow. Even after he saw the flowers' beauty, he treated them as weeds because they were not growing in an established bed.
So too, in Christendom, the testimony and character of a person can be admired but he is still rejected by other believers. Why? The answer to that question is: MANY OF GOD'S PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO IDENTIFY A SAINT so they must depend upon their unreliable intuition. Their reasoning goes something like this: "Since they are not part of MY church, they are probably a 'weed'. After all, I believe The Truth and if they don't believe exactly what I believe, they must be false."
Friends, A flower is a flower wherever it grows and history has proven this is also true of saints. The most hardy and rare ones did not come from seminary hothouses but sprang
up outside the gates of religious institutions. Isn't it time for us to learn from the scriptures how to correctly identify a saint? We read:
"Here is the patience of the SAINTS, they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev 14:12
That simple test will keep us from making the same old errors in discernment that have hurt the church in the past. If anyone believes in Jesus and obeys the Ten Commandments, he is one of God's flowers ... and every flower in a bouquet doesn't have to be exactly the same.
Knowing this, the next time we meet that obedient brother or sister in some unexpected place, we will be able to accept our new friend as a lovely gift from God.