I was reading the other day (and I admit it stung a bit) how “our pride causes us to filter out the evil we see in ourselves, it also causes us to filter out God’s goodness in others. When we are sitting in a sermon or studying a passage, it’s pride that prompts the terrible temptation to skip the Spirit’s surgery on my own heart and instead draft a mental blog post or plan a potential conversation for the people who “really need to hear this.”
I hate to say it but I cannot count the times I will say, “I have got to get so and so to listen to this one”.
I truly believe I am being helpful; I am assisting them in growing in Jesus. But maybe I am not. After reading the words I read, I am definitely sure of one thing. I need to check my heart. Perhaps my good intentions are not as good as I have always considered them to be.
Again Edwards writes, “Christians who are but fellow-worms ought at least to treat one another with as much humility and gentleness as Christ treats them.”
When I look down my nose at another, or when I “see” an area of need, in another’s life….Am I truly being humble and meek? I know all too well how imperfect I am. I see too clearly my faults and shortcomings. Yet very rarely does someone come to me to tell me I need to hear or see something (at times this is okay though, really). We ought to encourage one another. We ought to strive to lift one another up. But showing where others fall short isn’t always the best way to do that.
It;s my struggle and its also my goal. To be more intentional in seeing my need in any situation. Not overlooking others needs or making myself more important than others…but as I read and study, as I listen to the sermons preached — what does it speak to me? Where can I grow? Its a prayer I need to pray more regularly again.
“Lord give me wisdom, give me a word that I may know you and walk more closely to you today, than yesterday.”
It is good to encourage one another. It is necessary for us to share what we see with others. We cannot grow without that encouragement and direction. Yet we must clearly see ourselves as well. As someone who is always so very focused on what to do, and what to do next…I need to slow down. I need to appreciate the moments more; I need to listen for “my word” in things and not just point my finger to another as being “the one this word is for”.
Too often, I see myself through a sense that is not entirely truthful. I am and always have been extremely hard on myself, I expect a lot. Of others too. And then I am frustrated when they fall short (and when I do too!). I am reminded today, and every day, that God is so merciful and so graceful to me.. To every one of us. I mean, honestly, I am baffled always, that He chose me. Me. I mean, I can clearly see people who are far better (kinder softer, meeker, gentler, more social) and yet He chose me. I will never understand why but how grateful I am that He did! And how inspired I am to strive to be more like Him today and tomorrow.
I heard it said not long ago that “If how we respond and live today is the same as when we were saved, if nothing has changed, if we are not more like Christ, then we are doing this thing all wrong.”
Let us do this well. Running the race, striving to hear Him say, “well done good and faithful servant!”