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Bless the impostor in your life

Item 1: An AIM staff member and leader criticized me behind my back, quit to join a nearby ministry, and hired away two of our best leaders. What do you do? Item 2: A church group goes with you to Africa. The team has a wonderful experience, but the leaders claim it was disorganized and ask f…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Item 1: An AIM staff member and leader criticized me
behind my back, quit to join a nearby ministry, and hired away two of our best
leaders. What do you do?

Item 2: A church group goes with you to Africa. The team has a wonderful experience, but the
leaders claim it was disorganized and ask for their money back. What do you do?

Item 3: Another leader on staff commits a serious moral
failure, defends himself, and claims ministry property as his own. What do you do?

In every one of these real-life
incidents let me tell you, I wanted to sock it to ’em! Righteous indignation boiled over inside
me. They call themselves Christians, but they’re impostors! We had been wronged and the facts were
clearly on our side.

Then I read Romans
12 and God speaks to my justice-loving heart:

  • “Bless those who persecute you.”
  • “Live
    in harmony.”
  • “Do not repay anyone evil
    for evil.”

What do I do with that?

Well, in the first instance, we
gave the guy $8,000 as a blessing. In
the second instance, we gave the church close to $7,000. And in the third case, after trying to
reason, we followed Matthew 18 and stood to lose upwards of $80,000 depending
on how it went.  In each of these cases, the people involved became more reasonable; I think the kingdom advanced.

I’m telling you folks, Jesus didn’t
call his road a narrow one for no good reason.
If you’re going to bless someone who is hurting you, it’s going to cost

I don’t understand these Christians
who go to court and who fight and who lose track of the fact that we all play
for an audience of one. We all go before
the Father of lights when we’ve breathed our last breath. We all get to review our life in Panavision with him.

We all give an account. And only love remains.

Comments (18)

  • dad, thanks for setting a wonderful example. it’s so much easier to follow Christ when I’m able to see someone else doing it. miss you!

  • yeah well… King David prayed that God would rip their heads off, slaughter them… HA! That’s b/c God is our vindicator!

    Great example, Seth. This is why I love AIM so much! I will be praying for you all day today!

  • Seth, once again you amaze me with the way you openly share the truth through a back-to-the-basics message.

    Experience shows that when we seriously run after Jesus and vow to stick with Him no mattter what the question is “when,” not “if,” this kind of betrayal will happen.

    But because of Christ’s grace, a tremendous personal refining can come when we respond as you suggest 😉

  • Seth that is awesome. Thank you for taking those Scriptures seriously instead of using some religious language to justify legal action or other retribution. Thank you for taking the long term view. Thank you for caring about what the church looks like to unbelievers. Thank you for being willing to suffer and still love. Great testimony.

  • I just read this blog to some friends who are visiting and there was an uncomfortable silence that charged the room for 2mins that seemed like 5hrs when I finished.

    We couldn’t discuss this blog. It was too harsh a subject to deal with. But this is the call… this is the life… the abundant life. This is where we make a difference but many times we fail to.

    I’m currently struggling with the pain of neglect and betrayal. My Mrs has begged me to let go but it feels like I could lose my mind if I let these guys get away with it.

    Seth, thanx for passing your tests. What can I say?? 🙁 If you failed endlessly, then the rest of us are done for.

    Has anyone failed in these areas and wants to share?

  • Dad, it breaks my heart to see areas you have been taken advantage of. But through it you have looked for God’s kingdom as well as the best in your impostors. I am proud of you pops!

  • St. Mark of th Cross

    WOW! What a wonderful explanation of the “normal” Christian life. My children have struggled when I forgive those who they have heard, seen, and experienced rip me apart. I always tell them, that I am more needy that the person doing wrong to me. It is because I know if I react in anyway – the problem is now mine. I must now go to the cross with them, as many have had to do with me and then become the ambassadors of Christ’s reconciliation.

  • I am so impressed by your blog again! It is the true life of Christian. We are struggling with different kind of hard situations, but The Father promises us that He would give us rest and peace if we ask for. I can imagine how difficult it is to serve God, to glorify Him, but it is something that we have to learn in our whole life! I will be praying for you! And I am so desire to read your next article.

  • you want to know what blesses me even more than reading the victories in your life, Seth? Reading the comments from your children! You are shining example of “train your children up.” WoW!

  • Be willing to be wronged in order not to do wrong. That is a little snippet that often runs throught my mind. It is easy to pull it out when it applies to others, but perhaps easier to dismiss if it applies to me. I hope that I have humility to put it into practice in my own life when I have been wronged. Thank you for being a good example of this simple but difficult principle.

  • I also really appreciate that you are transparent about the fact that these things did and do happen within the organization. So many people try to cover up the conflict and drama, when in reality putting it out there and showing how to deal with it can be your biggest testimony of credability.

  • wow, that is so different than the world, and just about every christian I know, except you Seth! love to see you blessed a million times over,
    love you,

  • I,too, am learning to live like that…
    Thanks for the examples… It’s great to know that there are people who really play by the different rules rather than just preaching about it…


  • Seth, Thanks for sharing so openly the stuff that breaks your heart. I cannot even begin to know what you go through on a regular basis. Well, I guess we all have those impostors in our lives, okay, yes, I have run across a few lately. Thanks for helping me see the proper perspective. It is tough to deal with these type hurts and wounds. you’ve given me something to chew one. I pray I can walk in it. Amen hermano!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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