Critical Christians

I’m going to pick on someone a little bit. If you’re reading this, I love you!

I posted something on Facebook one day and I had a misspelled word or something. I’m that person, so immediately I got onto Facebook to correct it. And as I finished I had a comment from someone, almost immediately, on the correction I needed to make.

My response: while I was correcting, you were criticizing. I use this example, not to call out anyone, but to call out everyone, because that’s what we do. We criticize, not knowing that that person is making corrections…

Jesus set a great example of patience with people. I don’t think He ever expected anyone to immediately get everything right in their lives. I think He knew that mankind typically required a process of change. And when I think about Jesus, I often think of the criticism of the Pharisees. They had more to say about the people Jesus hung around than anyone. They couldn’t believe He would interact with tax collectors and harlots, people who in their opinion, were filth.

But in such a rush to criticize both Jesus and these people, they missed the fact that meeting Jesus made them want to correct their lifestyles. They watched other people’s salvation stories when they could have had their own. They missed the opportunity to congratulate instead of critique. The opportunity to commend instead of condemn.

I’m afraid that even today, we will still miss it. We’ll miss an opportunity to join Jesus at work or to praise His work because we’re too busy wondering why He’s wasting time on them. We’ll get so sidetracked on who God is working through that we miss the fact that He is working.

It’s not my job to wonder if God is making the right choice. It’s my job to know He is. So when He chooses someone’s life to correct, it would be good to not criticize them. But it would be best to congratulate them.

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.  There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Encouragement

Diversity

I could be wrong. I could be overreacting. But in my opinion (key words), there’s just too much of a lack of diversity in several areas of our lives. Maybe it’s just my being in the South that plays a part in this.

I believe we have all these unique people created in God’s image to be able to engage with one another. I don’t think He made us different to stay away from one another. I think it’s our differences that enable us to creatively cultivate ideas and concepts.

This is a short post, but I was curious to see if anyone else felt that the lack of diversity was an issue? I’m used to being the only black person in a lot of places, but should I have to be?

I could be wrong. I could be right. I just wanted to invite people to think about whether or not this is an issue where they are. It may not be. In fact, I hope it’s not. However, I do believe that if you can easily count the people in a room that look like you, it just may not be diverse enough.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Encouragement, Relationships, Thanksgiving

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

Proverbs 17:9 (NLT) Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,

    but dwelling on it separates close friends.

I don’t like arguing with my husband or anyone. I don’t like disagreeing with people. I don’t like being hurt and having to forgive. Who wants any of that, right?

Today, I read Proverbs 17:9 and I thought about my roll in a person’s forgiveness story. Now, I’m not saying people should hurt you just so you forgive them over and over and over. I am saying that every time you forgive a fault against you, you do your part in preserving love.

Every time I forgive my husband or vice versa, our marriage grows a little more love. When forgiveness takes place, love prospers. It’s dwelling on mistakes that strains the relationships.

Is it easy to forgive? Not always. It is right to forgive? Always. If we’re placed on this earth to love and forgiveness makes love prosper when we do, forgiveness is that much more important.

I believe, we’re most like Christ when we serve and when we forgive. Christ didn’t have to do either, but He chose to. He chose to set the example. Surely I can do both because I need to. Really, I believe God is saying, just put a little love in your heart.

If Jesus can forgive crucifixion. Surely, we can survive and find a resolution – India. Arie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxMLZjqZ8wE

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

28

file-1 (1)

I’ve found it easier to accept your age if you start saying it even before you’re there. I found myself saying I was 28, five months ago. So, now that I am, I am already used to the idea. However, getting older has never been hard for me. I’m like wine, the older the better. Ha ha.

Anyway, I am embracing the year of 28. The year of 28 as a married woman. The year of 28 as a career woman. The year of 28 as a writer. Most importantly, the year of 28 as a Christian.

It is time to step up in my walk with God, and it’s especially necessary. At 28, I shouldn’t have the same relationship with God that I had at 18. My prayer life should be deeper. My Bible studying should be more engaged. In other words, God should have more of me with every year, with every day.

So this year, my desire is to focus more on God and less on me. My career, marriage, writing, whatever it is, will automatically be better with my focus on God’s will in those areas. I’ll be better with my focus on God.

I declare 28 to be great as I focus on God’s fate for my life. Here we go.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Tell Me Something Good

There is this amazing emphasis on words in the Bible, especially in Proverbs 18. Which pretty much crushes the notion that talk is cheap. In some ways, yes, but words can hurt or heal.

But don’t you ever get tired of hearing all the bad? Do you want to hear something encouraging? These verses in Proverbs note how negative talk effects people and promote the importance of positive words.

It’s not asking you to be unaware or dumb to the fact that bad things are taking place. It’s just saying it’s important to hear something good, some time! For a change of pace, tell me something good!

Proverbs 18:20

Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
    the right words bring satisfaction.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement

Hypocritical Christian

AttachmentIt’s easy to be a hypocritical Christian. The comparison game is human nature, so naturally we can start to think well at least I don’t do that… 

I’ve been a Christian since I was young, but I don’t believe I took Christianity seriously all my life. I knew the things I shouldn’t do, but I never had a heart of obedience quite as big as my heart of guilt. If I felt guilty enough, I wanted that to convince me not to sin. It wasn’t a matter of loving God enough to stop, or at least it wasn’t until I was older.

I say all that to say Christians should be more careful. I was a good kid, and I was a Christian in my younger days, but I don’t know that I was a Christ follower in the areas I most needed to be one in, in those areas where I had so much influence.

See, I didn’t get drunk, but I did drink too much. I didn’t have sex, but I might have gone a little too far. I didn’t exactly lie, but I didn’t tell the whole truth either. In my mind, I wasn’t perfect, but I certainly wasn’t as bad as “her” or “him.”

However, the bottom line still remains that I was and am not as good as Christ. Which means that I am imperfect and flawed. I sin. The comparison of my sin to others was bad. But the hypocrisy of my Christianity was just plain sad.

James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.

Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat other. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Encouragement

Won and Done

Attachmen

There is a constant message of hope throughout the Bible. Typically, if you’re looking for a message of encouragement, the book of Joshua is where you go. There is a constant emphasis, in fact, a command given to Joshua by God to be strong and courageous.

Joshua had some big shoes to fill. Moses was gone and now he was the leader of millions of people, chosen to lead them into the promised land. And if you read about these people, they don’t seem to have been the most cooperative group of people. So, yes, he probably needed some encouragement, and who better than God Almighty to encourage him?

For now, let’s focus on the promised land. It was a land God had picked for His people. God doesn’t break His promises AND He only desires what’s best for His children. So the Israelites were about to receive the promised land. The best place for them, chosen by God. A promise they had been holding on to for years and years was about to be fulfilled.

It was theirs. And of course, there are some more major details in this story, please read it! There are more commands to Joshua to be strong and courageous as well. But for now, I think the most recent take away I have from this wonderful story is the concept of “Won and Done.” And it’s not just the battles in this story, but battles of God’s people throughout history in the old testament.

I think it was this idea that He wanted His people to understand about His promises, and still wants us to understand. It’s the fact that His promise is a promise. Whether it will take a battle for it to come true or not, if God promised it, consider it won and done. Frankly, because it is.

Joshua 6:2, 20

But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.

When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God