Matthew 7:1-21 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
We live in a world where everything is judged, a book by its cover, movies by their trailers, food by how it looks. We judge others by how they are dressed, and by their weight. There are times when we don’t even give them a chance because they look “weird”, or “they dress funny”. Some people are judged as ingrates and degenerates because of body piercings and/or tattoos. We don’t take time to talk to them, because we think we already know that they aren’t worth our time.
Psalm 109:2-4 2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit have they opened against me: They have spoken unto me with a lying tongue. 3 They have compassed me about also with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: But I give myself unto prayer.
These verses spoke to me this morning. They didn’t come from a devotional (well maybe verse 4). The past was filled with fallout due to a decision that I made to leave a toxic situation for me, and go with my true love. There were mistakes I made, and people felt betrayed, but the hatred and anger were prevalent. I had to pray to keep up my strength, and make it through.
No one wanted to listen to my side. They were upset at the fact that I had hurt my ex, and my son, who felt that I had abandoned him. He was 18 when I kicked him out of the house for continuing to disrespect me. That is a whole other story.
There were many who rallied to my ex’s side, and that is what I was hoping would happen. I still care for my ex, and for those who know me, really know me, it is very difficult for me to hurt someone. It killed me to watch my ex’s heart break in front of me. I don’t ever want to do that again. I prayed that he and his family would find peace and that God would mend their hearts. I prayed that God would guide my ex to find the one person that could make him happier than I ever could, but I digress.
The barbs that were thrown my way, and the names that I was called was nothing compared to the silence from my son and the words that he used against me. He had demoted me to just a womb, and I felt that a knife had been plunged into my soul. He wouldn’t speak to me. I would send him messages on his Facebook from time to time. I had apologized, but he thought it was not sincere and that I was just going through motions, ouch. I prayed that God would open his mind and give him the wisdom to see that there were two sides, and that I was not happy in the situation.
Venom, anger and hatred were being flung at me from all sides, and I prayed. I prayed every night and still pray, that the situation will resolve itself and that everyone I hurt will be touched by God and their hearts healed. I think I needed these verses this morning. They really spoke to me. I love how God does that, don’t you?
God makes us all in his image, and to glorify Him in everything we do. When we help others, better ourselves, comfort those in need, we glorify Him. How? By doing what He has asked us to do, love one another. By following the lessons the Jesus was teaching, we glorify God. What do we get in return? His love, comfort and the knowledge that He is there to protect us when we are in trouble. He is our Heavenly Father, and if I get comfort, protection, and unconditional love just by accepting His teachings and striving to be a better Christian, I can’t think of a better reward. Can you?
1But now thus says the Lord,he who created you, O Jacob,he who formed you, O Israel:“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are mine.2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,and the flame shall not consume you.3For I am the Lord your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.I give Egypt as your ransom,Cush and Seba in exchange for you.4Because you are precious in my eyes,and honored, and I love you,I give men in return for you,peoples in exchange for your life.5Fear not, for I am with you;I will bring your offspring from the east,and from the west I will gather you.6I will say to the north, Give up,and to the south, Do not withhold;bring my sons from afarand my daughters from the end of the earth,7everyone who is called by my name,whom I created for my glory,whom I formed and made.”
23Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24
Chores, we all have them. We all have jobs and obligations that we do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. We get up to them, and catch ourselves grousing every time, especially if it we are in a rut or we hate our job. Changing our mindset about the things we do is the hardest part of growing as God’s children. Instead of thinking that we have to get it done so someone won’t complain, we need to want to do it for the Lord. What? Are you nuts? Do my job for the Lord? You’re to have to explain this one. Okay. Here is goes.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4)
We all strive to be like Jesus, understanding, loving, forgiving, helpful, and humble. In our own way, we have learned how to listen to others and put ourselves in the shoes of others (understanding). Even thought it is difficult at times, we have learned to love ourselves (still working on that one), family, and our neighbors (where ever they may be). We help others when they need a hand up or are having a hard time getting through a rough patch, but, in one way or another, humility escapes us.
We grow up knowing that, if we fall, our parents will be there to hold us, encourage us, and give us that extra push we need. God teaches us to let go, and let him handle the problems we are struggling to resolve. When we fall spiritually, as well as in life, God is our safety net. He is there when we are facing trials and feel that we can no longer cope with life. We need to learn to let go, and fall. God is there to catch us, and give us the strength make it past our problems.
John 16:25-3325 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.[a] 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe thatyou came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Knowing this, we still have problems letting go, and letting God to catch us. I know, from time to time, I have to stop what I am doing and calm down long enough to see the situation, and let God to handle it.