The Lord has been laying it on my heart to blog about something He has been dealing with me on, and the devil has been fighting me all along. In my Bible reading this morning, it was confirmed to me that this is what the Lord would have me write about. (I LOVE when that happens) So, here we go!
Sometimes when people (I am talking about myself here) get saved, they want to jump in head first, and automatically know better than everyone else, including those people who have been saved much much longer than they have. I know this happened to me. The Lord saved me, I was excited, and I automatically had higher standards, better convictions, and was overall a better Christian than just about everyone in my church. HAH! If only I knew the truth. Thankfully, the Lord has brought people in my life to show me otherwise and squash me back down to my actual size.
It is really easy as a born again believer to get caught up in appearances and use peoples' outward appearances as a sort of litmus test for someone's spirituality. Although it is true that your heart condition is pretty well reflected in your countenance and your behavior, that does not mean that someone is not saved or spiritual just because they may not have the same standards as you (or me). I think that people hear the word "Pharisee" a lot but don't really ever think it applies to them too. I believe that we can act like Pharisees today and a lot of times do. Here is a recent example of just that: "You mean that so and so went to see New Moon??!!? That is so WICKED!" LOL. That is the abbreviated version of that outburst of mine. While I do not think it is a good idea for a Christian to go see a movie with underworld type creatures in it, is it really my place to say anything about it? Well, no. Sometimes I watch things that are probably not the most spiritual and I am sure the Lord is not pleased with it. So really, there is no difference. Judge not.
Another thing I have noticed recently is not only getting caught up in peoples' appearances, but also getting caught up in peoples mistakes rather than their victories. If there is anyone reading this who has never messed up, never slipped up and said something you shouldn't have, or never done anything wrong since you were saved, please let me know. If you say that you have not faltered in any way, you are a liar. How do I know that? Well, here is what I read this morning: "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." Psalm 103:14. We. That is all of us. We are all nothing but dust and dirt and filthy rags. Were it not for the imputed (Charged to the account of; attributed; ascribed) righteousness of God on our record through faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ, we would be cast in hell for eternity. So, if someone gives you a gift of some sort, and you do something different with your gift than the another person who received the same gift, does it mean you are any more loved or any better than them? The same person gave the two of you the same gift. Obviously you are loved the same. (I am having a hard time containing my thoughts LOL! Maybe that's why women aren't preachers...or aren't supposed to be anyways)
So this is the jist of my thought. Give grace where grace is due. Would you want someone to extend grace to you in a similar situation? I can look back at people whom I have had to extend grace to and say, man I hope they would do the same for me (give people a fair chance). Don't sweat the small stuff (and it's all small stuff, right?). And most of all, love. Love is sooooo important. "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." 1 John 3:23- That means love everyone, right? "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" 1 John 4:20- That means definitely love your fellow Christians. We will be spending eternity together anyways!
That's really all. It was kind of scattered, but I hope it was a blessing to you. The Lord is really working on me in my ability to forgive and to love people, even if they aren't just like me or maybe are not easy to be around. Love them anyways, that's what the Lord told me to do.