Before I begin, I have a confession to make. I have not been that good at writing every day during this Lent season. I have back-dated some posts to fill in the gaps of days I've missed. This week has been particularly worse as I planned, celebrated, and recovered from my son's 21st birthday. So, while this post is dated Wednesday, it is actually being written Sunday afternoon...
As soon as I walked into church this morning, I was greeted by an incredibly wonderful and sweet woman whom had something to share with me. It was a devotion from a book she had received from a friend. The book is "Moments with God" by Brenda Walsh. And the particular devotion shared with me was from February 2nd, titled "Don't Clean the Fish."
One part of this devotion really stood out to me:
"When God called us to be fishers of men, He did not say "clean the fish!"
This woman shared this with me knowing some of the judgments people have passed regarding me. But as I read it, I realized that I do the same thing. I see sin in someone else and immediately feel I have the right and responsibility to point out those faults and try to force the person to change, or scare them into changing. Many of us often feel we have the right and responsibility to judge others.
Today's Lenten sacrifice:
Let go of passing judgment.
Only God knows what is truly in a person's heart. Only God knows what a person is thinking and whether or not that person is repentant. Only God can judge.When we take on that responsibility...
A) We're basically saying we don't trust in God's ability to "correctly" judge (in other words, we don't believe God is doing what we this should be done);
B) We're putting ourselves above God (which, is breaking a commandment in itself and therefore proving we are no less sinful than the person we're judging);
C) As the author of this devotional states: "A weaker brother or sister can't stand up to the criticism and may fall away!" We are potentially pushing this person away from God. We become the one to cause someone to stumble (another thing we're told very specifically not to do.)
May God guide each of us into unconditional love for all so that we may truly be fishers of men... leading people to God instead of chasing them from him.