Monday, January 25, 2010

Well....I Blew It.

I started this post back in November and never finished it...found it in the archives tonight and felt like I needed to finish it now. You'll get to the part where I blew it I promise. :) I just need to work this thing out so here's your warning...this will probably be l.o.n.g.

Yesterday, our church members began a daily devotion as we prepare for December 13. (This is our "Day of Hope") I love that my 6th grader has this same study geared for her age group. We spent yesterday morning comparing the student version to the adult version. It was fun.

Our Day 1 passage was Matthew 9:35-38. On down in the passage it says that Jesus healed

"every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes He was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd. Then he said to His disciples, the harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into this harvest."

Every sickness. Every disease. Multitudes. Compassion.

There is that word again. Compassion.

It was a big junk of our Small Group Bible study Sunday morning.

Colossians 3 is where we were parked. Verse 12

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience...."

I've had a big old reminder that in order to be a laborer in this harvest, I need to examine myself and ask God what needs to be taken off so that I can put on things like compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and (big gulp) patience.

So I wrote the above in November. Today as I read that last line I can totally say to myself "Girl you need an extra dose of patience."

Few things light my fire like "un"compassionate Christians. Christians who look forward to pointing out what they view as a fault or a "sin" of another believer and then laugh about doing it.

That was an experience I had recently. I would love to tell you I was meek and kept my mouth shut, but I didn't. I did try and I have the bite marks on the inside of my mouth to prove it.

But I failed.

I did what my husband has reminded me many times NOT to do. He has had to say to me NUMEROUS times over the last 15 years, "Stephanie, do you remember the passage that says don't cast your pearls before swine? People who are that brash aren't going to hear anything you are saying. Don't waste your breath." And in this particular situation..he was right.

Patience..boy I sure wish I had tapped into that instead of lashing right back. Why?

Because I want to be used by Jesus. I want to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready to work in this harvest. Allowing my temper to take over my mouth was NOT holy. Only the Holy Spirit can be the Holy Spirit in that person's life. If they don't listen to Him, they are NOT going to listen to me. The shocked expression on my face would have spoken loud enough.

So I looked up the passage about the swine. :) I couldn't remember where this was and what was surrounding it. Here is what I found in Matthew 7 (first from the NIV)

1."Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3.Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4.How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5.You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
6.Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." The Message because just hit me in the stomach.

1."Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults - unless, of course, you want the same treatment.
2.That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.
3.It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.
4.Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt?
5.It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
6.Don't be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don't reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you're only being cute and inviting sacrilege."

Do you see what the Word did?

I was livid at the "story" I had been told and I reacted. BUT in this particular situation, I was just as guilty as they were of pointing out another's faults. I was saying, "come here and let me smack, uh I mean wash, that smirk off of your face." All the while, I had a nasty one on mine.

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever learn this lesson. I want to get it so badly and be able to live a life that Jesus can proudly pour out.

So this evening, I'm grateful that God is faithful to forgive. I'm thankful His Word is alive and active and constantly teaching me something. I'm thankful that His mercy is new EVERY morning and that I was given a do-over. I'm just thankful that He loves me, and praying that He will cut out any part of me that He can not use.

Praying tonight that you know Him and the power of His love and forgiveness. He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me....


Leslie Young said...

Whoa! I popped over because I read your comment on the LPM blog and was so touched by the story of YOUR weekend! Then, I read this post, which completely smacked me in the face! Col. 3:12 was one of my memory verses this year for some of the same reasons you cited - I need me some compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience! Loved The Message version of the 'pearls before swine.' Something to chew on...

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

HIs grace and forgiveness are all the sweeter when we really realize that we blew it, aren't they my friend.

I'm praying for you this weekend.


Dawn said...

thankfully He is faithful and just to forgive us. and thankfully I'm not the only one who blows it when my heart desperately wants His best but somehow my stupid mouth can so easily get in the way!