YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME

Shot through the heart
And you’re to blame
Darlin’, you give love a bad name

An angel’s smile is what you sell
You promise me Heaven, then put me through hell
Chains of love got a hold on me
When passion’s a prison, you can’t break free

Oh, you’re a loaded gun, yeah
Oh, there’s nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done

Shot through the heart
And you’re to blame
You give love a bad name (bad name)
I play my part and you play your game
You give love a bad name (bad name)
Hey, you give love, a bad name …

This Bon Jovi song is playing in the background of my mind as I read our passage from Peter today!  You’ll understand as you read to the end…

As Peter describes leaders and “teachers” who are following their own desires for self-proclaimed power with real enjoyment in exploiting others to gain self-made riches, I am reeling at the frankness and passion in these words!  Peter pulls no punches and does not mince words!  He is warning us against those who would readily manipulate us, telling us what they think we want to hear, then coercing and provoking us to speak only to use our words, twisting the intent, while slandering us to others.  This egotistical power play is as old as creation.

When we work outside the home, in church, business, schools, trades and any other vocation you can think of, exploitation of others is used by many to get ahead.  It’s our sin nature from birth.  As believers, reborn to a new life, we need to watch out that we do not fall for it or fall into these practices.  If we do fall, we give Love and Truth a bad name to those who are seeking the Person of Truth, Jesus Christ.  The outcome of this behavior leads to hurt, disillusionment, broken hearts and troubled relationships.  The final outcome of manipulating, bullying and slandering each other breaks the heart of God and results in a broken relationship with him which leads to eventual death.  Yes, I know, it sounds harsh, but Peter tells us this is serious!

PETER—THE ROCK

2 Peter 2, The Message

Lying Religious Leaders

1-2 But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They’ll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They’ve put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can’t tell right from wrong.

2-3 They give the way of truth a bad name. They’re only out for themselves. They’ll say anything, anything, that sounds good to exploit you. They won’t, of course, get by with it. They’ll come to a bad end, for God has never just stood by and let that kind of thing go on.

4-5 God didn’t let the rebel angels off the hook, but jailed them in hell till Judgment Day. Neither did he let the ancient ungodly world off. He wiped it out with a flood, rescuing only eight people—Noah, the sole voice of righteousness, was one of them.

6-8 God decreed destruction for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. A mound of ashes was all that was left—grim warning to anyone bent on an ungodly life. But that good man Lot, driven nearly out of his mind by the sexual filth and perversity, was rescued. Surrounded by moral rot day after day after day, that righteous man was in constant torment.

So God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day.

Predators on the Prowl

10-11 God is especially incensed against these “teachers” who live by lust, addicted to a filthy existence. They despise interference from true authority, preferring to indulge in self-rule. Insolent egotists, they don’t hesitate to speak evil against the most splendid of creatures. Even angels, their superiors in every way, wouldn’t think of throwing their weight around like that, trying to slander others before God.

12-14 These people are nothing but brute beasts, born in the wild, predators on the prowl. In the very act of bringing down others with their ignorant blasphemies, they themselves will be brought down, losers in the end. Their evil will boomerang on them. They’re so despicable and addicted to pleasure that they indulge in wild parties, carousing in broad daylight. They’re obsessed with adultery, compulsive in sin, seducing every vulnerable soul they come upon. Their specialty is greed, and they’re experts at it. Dead souls!

15-16 They’ve left the main road and are directionless, having taken the way of Balaam, son of Beor, the prophet who turned profiteer, a connoisseur of evil. But Balaam was stopped in his wayward tracks: A dumb animal spoke in a human voice and prevented the prophet’s craziness.

17-19 There’s nothing to these people—they’re dried-up fountains, storm-scattered clouds, headed for a black hole in hell. They are loudmouths, full of hot air, but still they’re dangerous. Men and women who have recently escaped from a deviant life are most susceptible to their brand of seduction. They promise these newcomers freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, for if they’re addicted to corruption—and they are—they’re enslaved.

20-22 If they’ve escaped from the slum of sin by experiencing our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ, and then slid back into that same old life again, they’re worse than if they had never left. Better not to have started out on the straight road to God than to start out and then turn back, repudiating the experience and the holy command. They prove the point of the proverbs, “A dog goes back to its own vomit” and “A scrubbed-up pig heads for the mud.”

Lord,

Thank you for opening my eyes and ears, keeping me alert to the seriousness of how we treat each other as leaders, teachers and followers as we profess to believe in you.  Never do I want to give Your Love and Truth a bad name!  Help me not to be a manipulator who twists words to suit the occasion or for my gain.  Help me to run from those who slander, lie, manipulate and use me for their evil game.  I have escaped from sin by your rescue more than once.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! There is no turning back from you, your love, mercy and grace.  Continue to keep me alert! 

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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