"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12 NAS
Today's post is inspired from several places. One is a question Shane Williard asked us over the weekend, the other is from Christine Caine's "Living Life Undaunted" devotional, and the last is the Scripture I typed above.
Shane's question was "Do we miss the point of Jesus by making people feel unclean in our presence?"
The way I take this question is, "Do I make people feel bad about themselves or God when they are around me?"
In the Bible, Jesus did call out the Pharisees because they had added many rules to God's and were very legalistic. They honestly did make people feel bad about themselves and their relationship with God. (Have you ever seen the Scripture of the Pharisee and the tax collector?)
Jesus loved everyone. The prostitute, the blind man, the leper, the widow, and even the terrible tax collectors.
Christine Caine was talking about how we need healing. We attempt to live our Christian lives injured. I agree with her. And I think that causes others to feel bad... and possibly even not follow Jesus.
Giving your life and heart to God is letting Him take the wounds and heal what can be healed.
This is from Caine's book, "We can never move on if we refuse to admit we are wounded. Some people in church can't submit to authority because of a flawed understanding of the true nature of fatherhood. Others won't fully commit to God because of abandonment issues. Still others won't give financially because they have a poverty mentality, perhaps from a poor background, and fear not having enough. Still others don't build healthy emotional attachments because of past abuse. And the list goes on."
When we limp through our relationship with God like this, we are showing people the wrong idea about God. We could make others feel bad when they are around us because we aren't showing the correct picture of who God is.
I have had times in my life that I know I intimated people with my relationship with God. However, I promise, that was never my intention and was not done on purpose. There are times when the Holy Spirit speaks up to someone because they aren't doing what God has called them to do, and when they recognize it in someone else, it's a reminder. I'm FAR from perfect... but I do have a few things established in my life that others might not have just yet. But if I am making someone feel bad because I'm being mean, judgmental, etc, then I AM in the wrong!
Shane told us a story of a man who came up to him and said, "Shane, what are we going to do about these homosexuals?" Shane said the dude was at least 450 pounds. Without hesitating, Shane said, "Well, what are we going to be about these gluttons?" The man was shocked. He said, "What did you say?" Shane said, "I didn't stutter bro. The Bible has 25 times the Scripture about gluttony than it does homosexuality. So how should we treat gluttons?" The man said, "We should love them and let God do the convicting and changing of them." Shane said, "Exactly."
Let's stop drawing out hope for people. Let's start speaking life and love other them... let's draw them TO God, not AWAY from Him.
Admitting that we aren't perfect is the first place to start. Showing love and acceptance is the second. Shane said, "You can love someone without affirming their behavior."
No more "Holier than Thou" attitudes from us! We will be authentic and real so people can come to God the right way. Are you with me?
God bless you today and always.