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April 08, 2009

More to the Story...

Housethroughtherocks

Greetings, Dear Friends!



And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog. This month the gift card is from Target. So leave a post, share a story or insight, bless lots of people, and maybe you'll win a few bucks to treat yourself at Target (no buying toilet bowl cleaner or anything like that. It has to be a FUN treat).

Now on to my topic...

Do you have someone in your world that has made a decision about you, has you judged, and won't let you off the hook? Or maybe you have your mind made up about a certain person because of some of the things they've done. You have them pegged in your mind and you refuse to believe anything different about them.

What's a person to do? 

Let's look at Jesus.

In the Gospel of John, chapter one, we read about when Jesus went to Galilee and called Philip to come be His disciple. Philip went off to find Nathanael and told him, "We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth!" 

Nathanael's response? 

"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" 

But Nathanael went with Philip, and as the two men approached Jesus, here's what Jesus said about Nathanael:

"Here comes an honest man. A true son of Israel."

If Jesus was petty, He could have taken an offense with Nathanael. But Jesus always looks at people redemptively. Rather than getting tripped up by our humanity, He sees the destiny written over our lives. He knows we are works in progress and uses us in profound ways though we still have such a long ways to go. 

If Jesus can extend us such grace, how is it that we can be so un-forgiving with one another?

2 Corinthians 5:16 reminds us, "So from now on, we regard no one from a worldly point of view." 

We have to fight sometimes to get that eternal perspective on certain people, that's our cross to bear. As Believers, we must guard our hearts and minds from forming judgmental attitudes and wrong perceptions. We may even be quite convinced that our perception is spot on, but we're wrong. 

There's always more to the story. And God always has a bigger picture.

Jesus is the One who knows things fully - and with all of our dirty information at His disposal, He still loves us. No one can gossip enough to Jesus to make Him change His mind about us! And we aren't afforded the luxury of holding on to past offenses because we think someone owes us. And we are nobody when it comes to judging others. In the whole scheme of things, our judgments hold no weight with God. In fact, it's just the opposite. He distances Himself from the proud, but draws near, and gives grace to the humble. 

When we judge others, we come to a conclusion about them. The very word conclusion is synonymous with: finish, close, and verdict. This is important: There's nothing redemptive about a wrong or limiting conclusion. We do great damage when we assume a conclusion when God is still busy, active, and changing lives every minute of every day.

Jesus is still working in and through all of us! He knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of wrong assessments and judgments. Even today many think He's nothing more than a figment of our imagination. Even so, He is God and He's coming back in all of His glory!

When Jesus died on the Cross, many thought the enemy had won. But there was more to the story.

When we judge others based on what we think we know, we are sinning, and Jesus knows there's more to the story.

When others judge us, we can hide in the shadow of His wing. We can embrace the refining work of the Lord in that safe and precious place. And we can trust Him - the One who has all of the information - to defend us. 

If someone has a snapshot of you when...and they've come to a conclusion about you based on a chapter of your life, refuse to let it weigh you down. They are accountable to God! Rise up and say, "The Lord isn't finished with me yet! He renews! He restores! And I am a work in progress. I'm not who I was. I'm not what I do. I am someone He enjoys!"

Be joyful in the fact that God knows you fully and loves you deeply.

Humbly embrace your own call to love others in the very same, deep and wonderful way.

Lord, forgive me for the countless times I've summed up others because of how they've affected me. Forgive me for forming judgements with only partial information. Forgive me for not pushing past my human tendency to judge when Your spirit inside me calls me to love and to intercede, and to forgive. I want to be a clean vessel used for Your holy work. I want to live with a pure heart that I might see You in every person I meet, because, in one way or another, they were made in the image of God. Make me more like You, Lord. Amen.

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Have a blessed Easter and wrap your arms around the power of the risen Lord!

PS ~ If you haven't signed up for my quarterly E-zine yet, you might want to. I'm doing a great book giveaway again. I write some devotional insights, great book recommendations, great quotes, and a prayer to send you on your way. The next issue releases on April 15th; here's the link:



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Comments

Dear Helen,

Oh, my goodness. I was overwhelmed and blessed by your Amazon review. Thank you so very much. What an incredible encouragement to my day! Bless you for your sweet words!

Rebecca,

I LOVE how you often post passages of Scripture here. Thank you for sharing and God bless you!

Kathy,

Thanks for sharing this wonderful pledge! It blessed me so very much! I hope everyone who stops by this blog will read it! Here's to being uncommon women!

Rachel,

Well said! I love what you wrote here:

It's hard sometimes to remember in the everyday monotany of life that everyone was made in the image of God. It has helped me a lot lately as I've started to pray for those who "bug me." What a difference it makes when you're invested in a person. It helps you to see them from God's perspective a lot more." Excellent words, indeed. Bless you!

Dear Doreen,

I'm thankful you've found encouragement and inspiration here! Bless you for stopping by. And I hope you do win the Target gift card and can buy a beautiful candle or a fun treat. :) Blessings!

Got your ezine... and even though I still haven't filed my taxes or fed my kids breakfast, I finally felt like I was up to checking out how to write a review on Amazon!

Oh my goodness, it was SO EASY!

I had already blogged a review back in October, so with a copy and paste, and a couple of edits it was ready to go!

They say my review will show up within 48 hours, but it appears here in it's original form, if you just can't wait. (I think maybe you already saw it.):

http://www.helenmartin.com/2008/10/22/im-not-offended-that-would-be-common/

OH, and yay about the wording on the yellow post-it on your new book, Embracing Your Freedom!

We are in a spiritual battle. The enemy wants to defeat us. The great news is, we have victory in Christ! But at the same time I need to be aware that the devil wants to confuse and get me off track. Satan wants to accuse the brethren.
That's when I need to go to God's word.
Proverbs says it well
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
My daily prayer is found in
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

God bless you and protect you Susie! Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Susie, this is such an important topic. The Spirit was searching my heart as I read. I love how you described Jesus looking at people "redemptively"...

Just before the Set Apart confrence Lysa T. posted about "women judging women" and challenged us to make commit to NOT judge. I felt my comment was Holy Spirit inspired and I needed to post it on my blog. (so I could remind myself often...and for accountability) I am going to go find it,copy and paste it here for refreshing my own commitment and blessing other hearts that might read want to read it:

"Lysa, this is a great call to test ourselves. We are all in the same camp as women. We have all said things we regret, and had things said about us that sting. Fortunately God uses those times to refine us and make us more Christlike.

As iron sharpens iron...

I commit, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in me to being a blessing with my heart and mouth, and to give *grace *grace *grace to those who judge me. I commit to believe the best about everyone, and see the potential God has in making changes in my heart and everyone else's'.

I also commit to not give power over women who are judging me or others by allowing their words to shred my heart or enter my heart, and deter me from walking in the truth of who I am and who others are in Christ. (this one is hard!)

I also commit to not label anyone "judgemental" if they judge, because Jesus is still workin on them, and I cannot judge His servant. Some of us lean on the side of grace (that part is easier for them to see and accept) and others lean on the side of obedience (that is easier for them than receiving grace) but God is the author and perfecter of us all.

Amen, and by the grace of God go I."

As always, you are a blessing!

Hi Susie! Thank you once again for the very insightful, scripture filled, and helpful for life post. I may not be where I want to be, but I'm not where I was. Praise the Lord! I'm a work in progress.

It's hard sometimes to remember in the everyday monotany of life that everyone was made in the image of God. It has helped me a lot lately as I've started to pray for those who "bug me." What a difference it makes when you're invested in a person. It helps you to see them from God's perspective a lot more.

I appreciate your words so much!

P.S. I have you listed as a site that frequent on my blog. Hope it gets even more people over here to check you out. ;)

Hi Susie! I enjoy your writings every Wednesday! I'm new to your site and I thought I lost the link but I found where I had written it down! :) This speaks to my heart in light of what's happened recently. I like what you said here: "The Lord isn't finished with me yet! He renews! He restores! And I am a work in progress. I'm not who I was. I'm not what I do. I am someone He enjoys!" This is so nice to hear and just know. I think this would speak to my Brother's heart also. I believe he may need to hear this. Thanks Susie! I look forward to more of your writings. Going to check out your archives. :) I'm really glad I found your site! Oh and the Target treat is the cherry on top! :) This sounds like a nice treat for me as the last gc I had to Target recently, I got my Mom a Can Opener.

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