As a Christian, where do we stand in the realm of God’s design for who we are? Do we even know what His plan is for us, even if we have been a long time Christian? Do we find ourselves knowledgeable in that we are able to instruct and guide? Are we so confident that the blinders we wear are sheltering us from the true nature of what we see and hear from the heartbeat of every person that God created and designed long before it started beating?
Today I am asking myself these questions as a result of some communication I recently experienced. It was harsh and from the words of the writer, it was “exhortation” for my non-biblical, worldly view of what I understood the scripture to be saying in response to a scriptural post another had posted. Unfortunately, despite my effort to explain my understanding, my words were ignored and through the barrier of electronic devices, my heart was slapped with the high voltage of accusation. An inaccurate judgment became the firing pellets of what came through as lashing of a self-righteous servant.
Knowing my heart and what I know of scripture, which I am always open for instruction and discussion, I prayerfully needed to ask myself was I wrong? I discussed my concern with my husband and another pastor, and after some thought and prayer, the answer was “no”. 1 Cor 16:13-14 (ASV) “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
We all have a choice. Even as Christians speaking with other Christians, we have the choice to stand up for truth, even when another is condemning you. 1 Cor 16: 14 “Let all that you do be done in love.” This applies to not only how we speak, whether in public or a private conversation, but also how we conduct ourselves in todays’ social media.
My choice in the conversation, realizing that what I was saying was being ignored, so that his self-righteous view could be visibly read by others, was to humbly step aside. Prov. 29:11 “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” He was mistaken in his accusation, but to continue the argument (or maybe in his view was a discussion?) would have caused additional pain to my spirit. In acknowledging what was going on, it was best to let it be left alone. I am certain his heart is to honor God, but sometimes in our over zealous quest to serve God, in the capacity to inform others what God’s word is saying, we are unable to hear what we are saying or the manner in which it is being shared, versus having the skill to listen to the heart of another. Our tone, forceful nature and deafness to others will turn those away who are seeking answers, as well as developing Christians. This not only applies to scripture, but also to situations in our everyday life.
I am always reminded of John 8:7 when the Pharisees brought Jesus the adulterous woman, asking Him what they should do since the Law of Moses said to stone her: “…he lifted up Himself, and said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” The story continues on that one by one, those who stood to accuse, walked away. We are all sinners in one capacity or another. There is not one human on this planet that is perfect. Sure, there are some that we look up to and admire, but everyone still falls short of the Glory of God.
It is human nature for us to judge without knowing. But, whether one is a Christian or not, to make an assumption prior to fully understanding keeps us from seeing the full picture of a situation or where a person might be traveling from in life. Haggai 1:7 “This is what the Lord almighty says ‘Give careful thought to your ways’”.
Do we have the right to assume that what we hear, what we read or what we see in human nature is that of truth? Assuming something is making a personal decision that something is true without necessarily have facts to back it up. Judgment is similar in nature, in that it is an opinion, a decision formed without proof. Discernment on the other hand, is the ability to grasp and understand a situation in order to make an informed decision/judgment based on insight, although it does not mean you have all the answers.
May each of our hearts be open to truth as we reflect on our own path in life,