I remember the time in my life when I was severely judged for my actions, for my sin, for my choices. The phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” was shared several times in reference to me, myself, and I. And in the middle of the mud, I made the choice to remain quiet and not share details and reasons. It cost me dearly.
It also made clear who loved me without exception, who walked beside me in the darkness, who chose to share God’s grace with me.
This week, the message was about judging others. So this week, the devotions are along the same topic. I loved this today, from the scripture in Romans 14:
One problem with believing that I should “hate” someone else’s sin is that it requires me to believe I’m qualified to judge that what that person is doing IS a sin. But the apostle Paul said only God (not us) can accurately assess people’s motivations, and see what is in their hearts. He strongly admonished the Christians in Rome: “Stop judging each other.”
- In verse 13, Paul said part of Christian community is to “never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister.” Scholar Leslie Allen summed up Paul’s point: “Christian fellowship does not imply a right to run other people’s lives for them: only Christ can—and will—discharge such a right.” What’s the difference between healthy accountability, helping a fellow Christian avoid self-destructive behavior, and trying to run that person’s life for them?
- Have you ever been upset, even angered, by another person’s “sin,” only to have things that are hidden in the dark brought to light, motivations revealed, in a way that totally changed your view of the situation? How can trusting God to judge far more accurately than we ever could change the way we relate to one another
This made me think of so many times I stood in judgment, even behind the sweet, empathetic smiles and “I’m praying for you’s” that so easily came out of my mouth. And how I now understand that there just might have been more to the story than I actually thought I knew… I have been convicted, once again. I’ve said so many times since my healing, “I have not walked in their shoes.” It is not my place to stand in judgment or condemn or speak ugliness to others about someone who is hurting for such reasons in which I probably have no clue. It is my duty to love UNCONDITIONALLY.
So, I am grateful for this message from Sunday that continues to speak to my heart this week.
I am grateful for the smell of a can of coffee grounds all fresh.
I am grateful that I had part-time jobs when I was in junior high and high school.
I am grateful for a lunchtime walk to the bank on a buhrisk, buhreezy, buheautiful day.
I am grateful for parents who have taught their daughters to write thank you cards when others do nice things for them.
I am grateful for those same parents who teach by example.
I am grateful that I no longer “walk on eggshells” every day.
I am grateful for homemade tortillas.
I am grateful for pictures on my phone.
I am grateful for really nice tech guys who know how to walk me through “fixes” without making me feel stupid.
I am grateful for medicine for my daughters.
I am grateful for silly things that a certain someone says that just makes me smile. Seven bells = 7:00. Double ott = 00, my niece’s basketball number.
I am grateful that Parker can count to 100 now and was honored at her assembly to join the 100 Club.
I am grateful to have heard Reilly’s voice in the background on the phone call with Katrina last night.
I am grateful to not have a car right now. It’s kind of freeing to not have errands to run because I can’t, but it was really nice today to walk to where I needed to go.
I am grateful for a man who has his hands full but felt compelled to greet me through the glass, so he did “the head nod,” you know, that silent “Hey” instead of “Hi.”
I am grateful for wacky little tips that are sent to me on random occasions that actually WORK. The most recent doo-dah is this: Is there any cooking flub more irritating than extracting eggshell bits from a bowl? Next time, skip the slippery fingers and hold a separate piece of shell near the fragment. Like attracts like, so the pieces will stick together for fast, frustration-free removal.
I am grateful for the excuse “better late than never.” Geri, please forgive me and expect a box to arrive soon.
I am grateful for staplers that work.
I am grateful that I don’t say, “I seen…”
I am grateful for this:
And I am grateful for unconditional love that has been shared with me.