Friday, January 25, 2013

It Takes One To Know One

Remember that line? Snarky kids biting each other with words, one-upping on the bus? Mom always said school wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the bus... We were usually one of the last stops so it was a good hour of (often) PG or R rated snark.

The poor bus-driver...I remember thinking that so often. Especially the small timid woman we had that one year Jimmy L'Allier poured Nair in her hair the last day of school when she consented to us having a water fight. Ugh. I prayed her hair didn't fall out...

We had a different driver the next year. I thanked God she didn't have to put up with our bus again.

Funny how even adults get snarky isn't it? It usually surfaces from our insecurities. It helps me to remember that. I've been squashed by words. And I have been careless with words. The Bible says that a harsh word stirs up anger, and a gentle answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1

It's proven true in my experience. Now that I know that verse well, I can remember when I feel like spouting something, I refrain (by the power of the HOLY Spirit, not by any good-girl wonder in me).

I once {okay, maybe twice} was called judgmental. When that happened, I felt like I was such a wretch in that person’s eyes, and there was no hope for me. It was extremely painful. And I fell on my face before the Lord. {Where else do you go when you feel condemned?} As I did, I found comfort in His love. I came to know His grace and His love for me more fully-EVEN if I were guilty as charged, I would be free to receive grace upon repentance. 

When we are in Christ, we are not under any label other than Redeemed! Or HIS. Or Beloved (don't you love that?!)

The Lord also helped me see that when someone called me judgmental, they were actually judging me.  {What is that one finger pointing-three fingers pointing back saying again?} 

And He said, "where is the grace in a label?" Especially if it is placed on a true child of God who is still in process of becoming? 
Jesus is my defender! {Isaiah 19:20} I always need to remember that so I don't let the devil get a foothold of bitterness when I feel wounded. 

That's how I forgive my enemies, and do good to those who hurt me, {Romans 12:14} I must have Jesus be in between. He loves them with forgiveness- he shields me with love.

Then I had to learn what Jesus really meant by judge not. I saw that in 1 Corinthians 2:15 we are called to make judgments: 

The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. 1 Corinthians 2:15 And I saw I needed to take responsibility for my feelings and not let words people said against me trump what God said about me. (And not expect perfect judgments about imperfect me from imperfect people who do not know my heart like Jesus does. Amen?)

In Matthew 7:1-5 where Jesus talks about judging, he is talking to those who accuse with the desire to manipulate or control and who are arrogant, that they have no right to correct those they are judging.

But there is a place for removing a speck from the eye with genuine love and gentleness. (Anyone who has had something in their eye can relate to the need for removal and we are called to turn people from sin)
 James 5:20 ...remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. 

The bottom line is that we who are born of God and live by the Spirit and are not under law. We are free in Christ and God will discipline us {true believers }when we are off track as we abide in Him. 

So if you have been labeled and boxed by someone, you don't have to stay in the box. Be free!

And if you have stamped someone with a label...rethink... and remember grace. We all are broken, imperfect humans. 

So lets pray for one another instead of try to control with words on labels. 

1 comment:

Jedidja said...

Thanks Kathy. Let us give ourselves to Jesus every day. Enough for us is His grace. And let us pray for one another, yes. It so true you're writing: 'We all are broken, imperfect humans.'

Good to think about!