Do you realize how critical and judgmental people can be? I know I can be. It is not my intent and it is an area I am working on.I have to take the time to look in the mirror at myself or it is easy for me to argue and become less of a person than those who criticize or judge me.
Have you noticed that we all have some great reasons to pass judgment on each other? We are quick to criticize those in the world for how they live. We even turn on our brothers and sister in Christ. We spread hate and not His love by slandering each other and the we use the excuse of having wisdom and understanding and that we have to expose sin. Yet we do not deal with the sin in our own hearts.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,but have not love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:12(NKJV) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
The body of Christ is divided not because of the world but because of our own demanding ways and holding on to the small part of understanding we have. We cling to religion and legalism or we go as far as saying we do not have to obey the law.Jesus said ‘If you love me, you will keep my commands’ He added one command and that was for us to love one another as He loves us. I have been criticized and called a number of names and the sad thing is more than half of those who have done this call themselves Christians. Does this mean I am to hate them? Definitely not! /these people do so out of their own limited way of thinking and that I do not fit their mold of what they want me to be. I am definitely a unique individual. God has taken the broken parts of my life and transformed them into a working vessel He can use. My obedience is to God first. My life is to please God and I do this by living my life in love. I have learned that I will never learn everything there is to learn in my life on this earth. I know in part and I will spend my life seeking God and His instruction. Life can be compared to a puzzle, we all have a piece and we can only see what that piece shows. Then another comes and we are able to put our pieces together and the picture grows. This continues until all the pieces are brought together. What happens if a piece or more turns up missing? The picture cannot be complete. I like to think that Jesus holds those missing pieces waiting for us to work together so He can then finish what He started.
If you look only to find what you do not agree with you will find it every time. It is so easy to find the flaws and wrongs in others. It is even easier to justify your judgment. Remember this though Satan used scripture against Jesus when he was tempting Jesus in the wilderness.
Matthew 4:1-11 (NKJV) Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’and,‘In their hands they shall bear you up,Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”[b]7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Here are a few things I am turning to work on my own self.
One learning to listen to ALL another has to say as well as how they are saying it because no two people communicate perfectly and even when they are saying the same thing due to lack of understanding and problems communicating they can still fall into a argument disagreeing over something they actually agree upon. If I interrupt or dismiss what they have to say before I have listen to all what they have to say. Another thing is by listening not just hearing I am validating the person and this does not mean I agree but accept that what they have to say is important to them
The next is acknowledging I do not know everything, that what I know is only a small part of all the wisdom God has. For His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways. I need a spirit of humility and compassion.
Another thing I contemplate is 1 Corinthians 13 Love does not demand its own way. God gave me free will, who am I to demand another to see as I see and not allow them to have their own opinion.. What I mean is that I can say what I have to say and another can say what they have to say. If we do not agree I do not need to repeat myself or use every argument I can come up trying to force them into agreement with myself, or to make sure I have been heard. A term a friend taught me some years back is sand paper people and what is even funnier to me is that a majority of my friends fall into this category. The fact that we are friends is that we have learned that we do not have to agree but we respect each other and our different opinions. We all come from different backgrounds and have had different life experiences. Unfortunately the majority of us have lived through one form of abuse or another. How we have developed and healed has been different and at different times in our lives. I would be wrong to tell them they need to be where I am because I had already been there and done that and I know the right way, Yet I would be wrong. How I was hurt and how I was healed is not the same. Similar yes we have both been hurt by abuse but how my abuse effected me is going to be different than how they were affected. The time it takes me to heal is dependent on the degree of my wound and God’s timing.
God is our Judge, Jesus is our Advocate, the Holy Spirit is our Helper, and Satan is our accuser..I have to ask myself am I being any one of these.
Does this mean I do not call sin, sin? Sin must be addressed and not swept under the rug but I have to ask myself am I trying to help another out of the ditch or am I standing above the one in the ditch kicking dirt down on them burying them with my judgment. Do I get down on my knees with an outstretched arm and help them up. Think about the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’.
None of us are without sin and none of us is perfect but we hypocritically demand others be perfect and agree with us. Where is the love of Jesus in this. He did not choose the elite or highly educated. He chose men who were rough and ones who were even despised by their community. You even have women from backgrounds not acceptable by religious standards. Rahab the harlot,who hides and protects the spies Joshua sent into Canaan.Then Ruth the Moabite who becomes the grandmother of David. The woman who anoints Jesus is despised by those who are with Jesus. The Samaritan woman at the well would not have even been spoken to by the religious. She even tells Jesus if you knew who I am you would not speak to me. Jesus does speak to her and He speaks to her with love.
Man or woman. Adult or child. No matter your race or background or opinion, Jesus loves you. Can we learn to love each other as He loves us or we continue to justify our actions no matter who we may hurt or keep from coming to know the love and mercy Jesus has for all of us.