Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Critical Heart

I think sometimes as believers, we think we shouldn’t make any mistakes. We grow critical and lift our heads up high when we see or hear of someone that should’ve known better – fall flat on their face in a public way. We act as if OUR child would never have done that. WE certainly wouldn’t have caved in to that temptation.

We show our backs instead of opening our arms.

It seems to me that making mistakes is often a very necessary part of growing in Christ. 

My goal as a Christian woman, wife, and mother is to raise my children in the ways of the Lord. I hope with all my heart that they see through a few minor mistakes that I’ve made and learn that God’s way is the easier way; instead of having to make the big, tough mistakes and learning that any other way they try is the hard way! The painful way.

I hope that I, too, don’t mess up. I pray I won’t give into temptation and that I can live an exemplary life for the Lord. Saying that, I know that life happens.  I’ve seen humanness in its raw and natural state. I’ve lived it.

Nobody ever plans to have his or her child get pregnant out of wedlock. We don’t intend for our children to get into drugs or abuse alcohol. We don’t wish for an affair in our marriage or pornography to dismantle everything we have.  We don’t want controversy in our homes and we don’t want it as part of our image or reputation. Yet it comes – like a thief in the darkness. For Satan is out to “steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10) If he can steal away our child’s purity whether by their own choice or the choice of someone who intends to take it away from them…he most certainly will.   If he wants to lure our families with wealth, greed, and power – he will. If he wants to isolate us, tell us lies, feed us falsehoods – he will! He is out to steal our very souls. He is out to kill our very bodies, and he most certainly wants to destroy everything we are and everything we believe in.

We forget that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12). We forget this when we hear the controversial news that someone we know was caught breaking and entering or someone we once esteemed had a hidden life that is now unveiled for all to see. We forget. We whisper and we accuse.

None of our thoughts or actions will ever help those who stumble if we condemn and criticize. It will never draw them back to the Lord or to His people. Instead, we chase them off as someone who is unclean, unwanted. We can act better than them.

Mistakes are mistakes. Some are more noticeable than others. You can’t hide a pregnancy for very long, yet pornography can be hidden for years. Who says one is more wrong than the other?

I don’t think we should blindly ignore the fact that sin is sin and we can’t ignore what damage is often done to relationships or a person’s life when they make mistakes and are sinful. But we can still love them. We can pray for them.

I don’t live under any illusion that Christian people are imperfect. We mess up all of the time. The problem is when we act as if we don’t. We shun those who fall.

I think we forget that God died to give us the very grace and mercy that we deserve. That we will need.  If we were a perfect people, there would be no need for that great sacrifice.

I want to be the kind of person who loves as God loves. I don’t want to pretend that something that is wrong is really right…but I do want to continue to love and accept someone the best I can in their broken state.

In Genesis 50:20, God says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many souls.”

The world is full of messed-up, fallen, broken people. How will they ever come to believe that our God died for them in their full-on sinful state if we can’t first forgive those we call our “brethren?”

All I know is that God didn’t die for the perfect. For that person doesn’t exist.

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