There is a fine line many walk after the choice is made to take up a cross. That new way of life sometimes has a terrible way attached to it. As we learn more about the ways of our Lord, and see that our ways are usually in contrast to His Spirit, we begin to edge closer to that fine line. That line, where judgment begins.
Just to be clear, I’m not speaking of discernment or righteous judgment. His refinement is a grace bestowed upon us as we walk along the new path, and it should be one that is welcomed. I’m speaking of the way that we tend to use the Bible as means of making people feel inferior, belittled and, in many ways, as if we are God himself. As if we are the ones who are of authority and sit upon the throne of pronouncement.
This is a tough one for me.
I’ve spent my entire life fighting. Anyone who reads this blog would know just how my personal share of sorrows has taken me in the opposite direction of love and peace. It is real for me. I don’t expect anyone to know how the suffering works within me, and I could care less if anyone views my blog as some huge pity party. I write as an ambassador of His glory within me. This blog is part of the taking up of my cross, and also one of the ways I hope to help make a disciple of Christ somewhere within the world. So, the fight has been personally long, difficult and damaging. Honestly, I believe the thorn in my side is the constant battle of regaining trust. But, I rise each morning and give Him all of the praise and honor through each trial. I’ve learned within this walk that even though our life is now His, the “problems” do not cease. In fact, they are just as frequent. The difference is the faith that is now present. The needed strength that was once found within the things of the world is now found in Him! Praise God!
I could go into the many battles I’ve experienced and am experiencing, but that is for a different post at a different time. The topic for me, as well as many others, is the fine line of judgment. Our judgment, not God’s.
This life is so full of the many things to fix our eyes upon. After the knowledge of His Word is experienced, one begins to see just how sinful the world truly is, and some begin to experience a lot of frustration because of it. I personally had a very hard time “adjusting” to this new life several years ago. I had a serious addiction that I was fully engaged in when I believe I began to experience the work of His Holy Spirit within. This internal PAIN began to enter my life. Yes, it was physical and mental pain that I experienced. This certain addiction was something that I loved and viewed as a necessity. But, after the work of His hand began in me, that love and priority turned into a cutting guilt. It kept me awake at night. It had me praying on my face at times for forgiveness. After that sin was removed, the other sin was an issue. The same internal pain would not subside until the sin was removed. Then the next sin. Then another. I then began to have a “religious mentality” towards the world. Everyone and everything was going to hell! So, like many in an unhealthy relationship with Him, I was a Pharisee.
Someone reading is going to say that a guilty conscience was the only thing working within me during those times, and that a “god” is just an imaginary reason for believing that I need to be saved so I won’t someday burn.
Hey, that’s okay. I thought that way at one time too.
I pray for the unbeliever. The ones that have never experienced the Lord. I pray their day of truth comes before bowing before Him. Like the unbeliever, I have that same type of judgment. That judgment, which is naturally written upon every heart of every man and woman. The natural sin nature. The natural tendency to doubt, look for reason, and to find the self more important than the other. The natural pride that we all have, whether we admit it or not. I learned early on that it was this same pride that caused each one of us to be separated from our Creator. It was through a rebellion in the Spiritual realm that began this filth within the heart of all men. That fall of man carried a curse with it: one of righteousness, and not the righteousness of our Lord. Our own righteousness.
Gossip. Slander. What we personally believe. Our past. The experiences we’ve had as Christ followers: the pain of sin bestowed upon us by the other followers around us. The degrees of sin that we are presented with. Our own inner-turmoil: the determining factor in our self-justifying choice to shun our neighbor for their wrongdoings. Shifting focus away from our own faults and sins, and pointing out the sins of others, before loving them and praying for them. Realizing that God is love, but not modeling that before giving ground for our righteous finger-points. It all continues, even as we journey along the new road with our Lord. Maybe we should all stop and thank him for His merciful grace. Like, now.
I’m beyond thankful for being cleansed by the blood, but do I truly care at times? I continue to be sanctified, but do I truly honor Him with the looks and thoughts of disgust? Do the disgusting things within us, and within the world, teach us what He wants us to know?