Today's message comes from Matthew 5:43-45
43: "You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
44: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45: so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
This comes after a conversation with a friend and then coming home and reading this very passage. It inspired me to use our conversation to make a point.
The conversation started out with me talking about my hubby having been sick for over two months now. His first attack was his right shoulder area on his back hurting. His muscles were extremely tight and causing great pain. He went in and the doctor put him on muscle relaxers and pain pills. He was bed ridden the for a few days then seemed to be getting better.
During this time he hadn't been to church but one time. This was a concern. Not to mention his whole being had changed. His coloring was poor. I just kept praying. Shortly after he started experiencing pain in the left side. I found a not the size of a tennis ball at the base of his neck. I kept prompting him to go in and get it checked as I was concerned that it may be a herniated disc. He finally went in and we were shocked with the diagnosis.
While the doctor was checking him out, she found some vertebra's that were very tender further down his back which caused concern. She ordered an x-ray. When she returned with the results, she was shocked as well. He had pneumonia and also told us that he has advanced osteoarthritis. Wow!
So he was kept on the muscle relaxers as his muscles were tight from the pneumonia and the pain pills. I took him off of those, as I could see him going down hill fast. The doc said that the pain medication would keep him from coughing, which he needed to cough to get the junk out. He was bed ridden for a few days again.
But there was something else too. I could tell something just wasn't right. He had only been to church a couple of times. Was despondent often, coloring was poor. Just not himself at all.
After one of the services I talked to a Pastor who is a good friend of ours. I explained all that was going on and he prayed and then mentioned something I never thought about. One of our friends who was a pillar in the church, a godly man by all means who basically was a mentor to my husband had done something shocking to many. It really had an impact on us. We just couldn't believe it. How could a man like this do such a thing?
Well it never occurred to me the full impact it had on hubs. It really brought him down. It affected his faith and all. The illness came at the same time and totally reflected on the illness alone, thinking it all had to do with that.
So I shared with a friend that hubs has been sick and needed prayer as he still is, but also talked without mention of name or situation just the shock that something bad had happened to such an awesome couple.
What she said was profound. "He's a man. We all have our moments when we fall short." She then shared of a church where the Pastor had been with this church for years and one day it was found that he liked pornography. Oh the horror! She was amazed at the congregations reactions. How they just put him down, he needed to be put out of the church. He was labeled. Why? She was wondering why the people weren't praying and lifting him up and helping him overcome that addiction.
This Scripture says it like it is. We are to love our enemies. Except he should not have been viewed that way. He messed up. He had an addiction that should have been approached, prayed about, and received help and support to over come this addiction.
This is where so many of us fall short. Does God walk away from us when we mess up? No! Instead He puts people in our midst to help us become better people. Instead he prods us and urges us to try harder to be better people.
But plain and simple, we are of the flesh. We will have our short falls. So the next time we find ourselves judging someone, ask yourself how you would feel if you were in that person's shoes and were being condemned. Would you deserve that kind of treatment, or would you rather people reach out and try to help you walk through it, over come it and become a better person for it by learning and stopping that problem?
Remember the Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5
1: "Do not judge, so that you won't be judged.
2: For with judgment you use, ou will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3: Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye?
4: Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out your eye,' and look there's a log in your eye?
5: Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
I'm guilty of judging others at times and am trying so hard to over come that. It's a trait I do not like.
Let the Spirit lead you and guide you. Before reacting to a situation, ask yourself how you would feel if someone responded to you in the way you were thinking of reacting. Let's get better at holding each other accountable for our actions/reactions. None of us are above one another. We are all equal.
Should we hold our leaders accountable? Of course, but with love and understanding just as our Father does with us. When they fall short, remind them, but don't turn away from them. Instead pray for them, give them a reminder in a manner that the Lord leads you to do. If you catch others condemning them, give them a gentle reminder of the proper attitude to have. Have a Christ like attitude! I know I sure want that more than anything.
Let's be the brothers and sisters we were meant to be. Our nationalities, skin color, age, sex, what ever the case doesn't matter. What matters is we are all God's children and should love one another, uphold one another, support one another through the good and the bad. Not just during the good.
Blessings to all of you. May your walk with the Lord be glorious and may we all glorify His great name!