Monday, June 6, 2011

Here comes the Judge!

A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery Store.
As he waited, he was approached by a man who asked,
"Son, can you tell me where the Post Office is?"

The little boy replied, "Sure! Just go straight down this street a coupla blocks and turn to your right."

The man thanked the boy kindly and said, “I'm the new pastor in town.  I'd like for you to come to church on Sunday.  I'll show you how to get to Heaven."

The little boy replied with a chuckle. "Awww, come on...
You don't even know the way to the Post Office." 

Have you ever been in that situation? Someone that was new to the town or the area stops and asks directions to a place, and you tell them how to get there. Then when that someone tries to offer you a kindness in return, your kindness goes out the window. On the other hand, you are so "hoity-toity" (if you don’t know that one, email me) that you can’t believe that someone who asked you something had the nerve to offer teach you something else.
People often judge us on our first reactions. Your first reaction would have been one of kindness. You told them how to get to their destination. They automatically become at ease with you since you seemed to be friendly.
Then all of a sudden you say something hurtful to their offer of kindness, either out of ignorance or lack of consideration for how others feel. The avenue that you opened up initially is gone. Chances are the person will just walk away, count their blessings that they escaped and possibly never speak to you again.
You may say, "Well, they shouldn’t wear their feelings on their sleeves."
Yes, maybe they shouldn’t. But we are all human. (Unless there is an alien reading this. Then contact me at my information listed in the profile please. I have a million questions to ask of you, and I won’t be hurtful in my answers. <wink>) And we have to remind ourselves that others are human. Sometimes that person may have had an encounter that upset them for some reason. Maybe it was a spat with their spouse. Maybe the boss is riding them because of a looming deadline. Perhaps the kids would not cooperate this morning, and they ran late, both to school and work. It could be a million things. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is our attitude.
We have to be constantly vigilant that we keep our minds focused on Christ. How would Christ act in this situation?

John 13:34 (New International Version, ©2011)
   A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Notice what Jesus said. "You MUST love one another." Not maybe. Not possibly try to and hope you’re not having a bad day. You MUST.
Now I will be the first one to admit that I have met some people who it is really hard to love. And a popular saying that I’ve heard for years is, "Love the sinner, Hate the sin." I think I know what they are trying to say. But this is not scriptural. We are to love everyone. But we are to shun the sins that anyone may commit. Although be careful. Jesus warned also:

Matthew 7:1-5 (New International Version, ©2011
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

In other words, Love That Person, no matter what. But get your own house in order. Sure, you do not have to, nor should you want to participate in their wrongdoings. But don’t beat them up over it either, especially if you have anything going on in your life that would cause someone to stumble too.
So let’s become the person that we want others to be. Let’s become Christian again. Sure, it’s hard in this day and age when you are bombarded so many times with temptations and opportunities for wrong doing. When the Christians get right in their lives, the church becomes an example of Christianity again, and Christ is restored to his place of respect in our homes, churches and communities once again. Then we can reach out to others and they will have a reason to want to be Christ-Like too.

Wednesday, a new series entitled: "You Might Be in a Country Church If ... " that looks at 14 things that we do in our churches that can be confusing, misguided or just plain wrong. I hope you enjoy it!

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