Sunday, October 24, 2010
Day 115: Lovin' The Family
For the past several Sunday evenings we (Oak Grove Baptist) have been doing a study through Jerry Bridges' book, Respectable Sins. This is a very good (and needed) book that will challenge all that read it. There is a study guide that goes along with it, but we haven't been following any real structure, except to have Matt or Derek give a brief description of the chapter and then some applications.
Tonight's chapter was on judgmental-ism. Something that I am very familiar with. I blame it on a zeal for truth to be known, but I think it actually might go a little deeper than that. I don't like to be wrong and I don't want others to be wrong either. So, in my desire to see others properly understand just how Holy God is, what He demands, things the bible clearly says not to partake in, etc. I can sometimes come off as sounding harsh and well, uh, judgmental. It is not because I try to, but that is how others perceive my words. Tonight we had a task to tell others how much we appreciated things in them, instead of being derogatory or seeming judgmental. It was an exercise, to show us just how to do it, that we may start to practice this daily.
I have recently, over the past several months, been enlightened about this issue in my life. I have sought God to change me and to reveal areas that I need to address. I have come to the conclusion that the things I was saying (and still do) were not wrong, in and of themselves, but that I was being perceived as being unloving when saying these things. So, I have asked God to give me a lot more love when dealing with these things. It's not that I must bring the level of my convictions and sharing down, but I must do it with compassion and for it to be perceived as in the right spirit.
I do not desire to hurt anyone or make them angry with me. My heart has always, honestly, been loving, my words - not so much. I am a quiet kind of guy, so when I do say something meaningful I suppose it can be perceived as derogatory or hurtful. For that I am truly sorry and God has been working on me. I cannot, however, compromise biblical truths or allow those closest to me to live a lifestyle that is sinful. This is really true if these dear ones profess to be Christians as I really want to help them along their walk, a deeper holiness and reverence for God's Word and how others perceive them and their standing with God.
I do know that I still have a long way to go. I also know more than that, that God is going to be there to guide me through the process and allow me to learn more as I seek Him more in this area. Isn't it wonderful that the God that spoke everything into existence desires us to seek Him and actually gives us that desire in the first place? It is amazing that I call this God my Father. Wow! Can be overwhelming when you actually think about it and meditate on that truth. I recommend any child of God practice that thought, that God loves them that much that He will give them the desires of their heart. I've got a long way to go and will be walking in the path of my Father along the way, which is the only way to go.