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!"
"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: