Or perhaps its afternoon... actually for you it may even be evening.. or the middle of the night. That's okay. Its morning for me.
I am about to go with Shaunny to meet our friends who are visiting from Barcelona, we haven't seen them in over 3 years so we are really excited. Then later we get to hang with our friend Mitch, who is here visiting from Chile. It's an amazing thing to have close relationships with people all over the world.
I will write more later, but for right now the thing that is on my heart is the reminder that Jesus gave us not to judge people. I have been thinking about it a lot. Its so good because I am both someone who falls into judging others, and is on the receiving end of being judged. It is SO painful.
But Jesus says in Luke 6:37,
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn,
and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven"
We are not to be judges because we don't know the hearts of people. We don't know the full story. We don't know the aches & pains of others... that have driven them to act as they are. & we are not perfect.
Only God is in a place to judge us.
When God walked the earth in the form of Christ, he was not soft on dealing with sin. But he was incredibly gentle in dealing with people. Read about the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11... the people wanted him to punish her & withhold the grace that her heart deeply needed.
But Jesus first met her emotional needs, then dealt with the sin.
I'm so grateful for grace like that. I can remember a time in my life when brokenness surrounded me. I did things I never thought I would do, treated people horribly, treated myself horribly... it was awful. And of course people judged me. I would have judged me too. But a select few people were filled with the love of Christ.. and instead of rejecting me & gossiping about me, they took me in and committed themselves to seeing me get free.
It is so important for me to remember that. Because naturally I am not good at it. Naturally I am a gossip. I am a judge.
But by the grace of God... I am a lover, and a giver, and a protector. Gossip doesn't protect. God protects.
I pray that we live as lovers, and protectors... as we fall more in love with our Creator, I pray that our eyes are opened to see people as He sees them.
He sees you today. He sees me. His heart is overwhelmed with love for us. He understands our shortcomings & offers the grace & freedom we need to live like He wants us to.
So knowing that today, on this Wednesday, let's remember how much we need the love of God. Let's love the people around us extravagantly. When we are tempted to judge, tempted to think that we know exactly what is happening in another person... let's shut our mouths & pray. Let's give grace. Let's protect others & resist the desire to expose them through talking about their flaws.
Let's love others as Christ first loved us.
We love because he first loved us.
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother
or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love
their brother and sister, whom they have seen,
cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
And he has given us this command:
Anyone who loves God must also love
their brother and sister. 1 John 4:19-21
|Photos of Shaun & I in Barcelona in 2008|