I woke up this morning and I could not stop thinking about it.
“I bet that is one of the contributors. That can’t be helping. It is only hurting.”
By the time I rolled out of bed and meandered to the coffee pot, I already knew what I was going to say. I was going to come to the table, out of concern, and state the obvious.
“THIS…is clearly not helping.”
“What you are doing is WRONG.”
The other day I was reading in Matthew and was really needing something. I was desperate. Ever have one of those moments? You need Truth ASAP. You need Hope. You ultimately need Jesus.
That was me.
“Please show me what I need to hear. How to live. What I need to change IN me?”
I have a lot of needs.
Well my eyes went to Matthew 7.
Do Not Judge.
7:1-5 “Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgement will not be passed onto to you. For you will be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you. Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? You are being hypocritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.”
Verse 5 is bold because my Bible it is now highlighted.
“First” literally means, “BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE” and “Acknowledge” means that you accept or admit the existence or truth of and from experience I can tell you, you won’t address what you cannot see or what you do not know exists. If your heart is not convicted to repent, that what you are doing is not the best or is hurting rather than helping, you most likely won’t take the steps to CHANGE.
Repentance means you acknowledge your own stuff, your sin, and you change your mind and go in another direction. You begin to make changes in the way you think. Your mind is pretty powerful and on your own, you can redirect your thoughts but your heart is another story. Repentance means you open your heart to being searched by Jesus and overtime and as each searching takes place, a conversation happens. I believe with your can-do and your time spent with Jesus honestly accessing your own heart and answering the hard questions, like “What is going on inside of me?” you transform.
You leave your old wineskin behind and take on new. (Mark 2:22).
Do you know the process of creating a new wineskin? I did us all the favor and looked it up. It’s quite the process.
The hide is cut from a dead animal, most likely a goat.
Then it’s dried, tanned and eventually cut into the right pattern and sealed.
It’s then stitched by hand and tacked.
It’s turned inside out.
It is heated to high temperatures.
And then sealed. Again.
Dealing with our stuff is much like this. A process. A gruesome and bloody process and lately most days, I personally feel much like a goat hide.
Cut off, left to dry…left to die.
It is how it feels.
But I have to choose to believe, regardless of how it feels, that this process will be worth it. That I am a beautiful new wineskin in the making.
Because I am realizing that my old skin cannot hold new wine.
And I want new wine.
So where does this fit in with Do Not Judge?
“…and deal with them THEN you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.”
A season of life, such as this, requires a great deal of patience, understanding, grace and love.
It requires one to go easy, be kind, gentle and compassionate towards themselves.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Perhaps only after we have walked through the process of dealing with our own sin will we know how to deal with others in the same way. Perhaps only then will we realize it’s not as easy as sitting across from the table, coffee in hand, saying “What you are doing is wrong.”
Until I can deal with me, I don’t think I am capable of dealing with you.
And it’s not a mater of want to. Believe me I want to. I often feel under obligation…
I just don’t think I quite know HOW to…
At least not in a way that’s Jesus.
And if it’s not Jesus…