Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.I think I've mentioned it before and I'll mention it again, lately I've been troubled with a negative heart. A condemning heart. A hard heart that sees the faults of others and doesn't let them go.
And when I say, "I've been troubled with a negative heart", I mean, "I've been troubled by MY negative heart".
The devil isn't telling me to think badly of others and I'm not struggling to resist his mind control. I'm just human, and I'm just this particular human: me.
A self absorbed, condemning, impatient, peace-less, anger mismanaging, oblivious, manipulative and lying jerk who owns a telescope perfect for finding faults and failures; who fails to find or care about his own Dwarf-star class faults whenever there's a new mini-meteor momentarily passing-on-by.
It can be hard to remember to stop and check for planks when someone splatters ketchup on my new, white shirt, and I've gotten it into my head it's blood gushing from their face. I just NEED to help them get that sliver out of their bleeding eye, now don't I? It's making such a mess of their OWN shirt/life, isn't it!? They should WANT my help, shouldn't they?!? They'll be BETTER for it, AND for God, I know it!
After all, I'm right . . . Or didn't you know that?
God has shown me mercy and he shows that same mercy to others, and they certainly don't have a greater need for it than I do (every single day).
I need to pray for God's wonderful mercies to flow over my life; and from there, that they would overflow into the lives of those close, and not so close, who 'dare' to cross my line of sight being just as messy, unkempt, uncontrolled, uncoordinated, clumsy and willful as I am on the best of days.
There is a time when God would have us speak to our brothers and sisters about their actions or behavior and how they may not be glorifying Him with that part of their lives; but when someone makes a mistake or slips up once and they don't seem ready to make a habit of it, if you aren't in leadership over them and feel the need to address it, there is a good chance that the little 'Word of Wisdom' from God I'd like to speak into someone's life may not have actually come from anywhere but my own steaming big head.
I need to always pray, and take the time to decide, and probably pray some more before deciding whether or not an issue is important enough, if God would use me in such a way, to bring it to their attention as a matter for them to take to God in prayer and consideration. I need to ask the question: Am I concerned for my brother, or bothered BY them?
I do not convict, God convicts. The most I could possibly do is act as the means by which He convicts, and that certainly isn't anything to be puffed up about. On the rare occasion what I see is not the result of my own blindness, the work my God would call me to may be one of nothing more than prayer; to the world an inglorious ministry, but one that contains a glory many, sadly, never come to know, and in all the ministries He gives I desire to be faithful in action and heart.
Written February 20, 2012
- - -
"The only reason we are unmerciful is the misconception that we deserve more from other people." - Colin Sandberg