I’ve had some things on my heart lately that I wanted to share. Here are a few thoughts.
Do you ever wonder what lens you see things through? The apostle Paul, Saul at that time, had scales on his eyes that prevented him from seeing Jesus. He saw everything colored by the law and he made it his mission to go about making sure others followed it and punished those who did not. (Christ followers) His scales fell off during his encounter on Damascus road with Jesus. He got a new vision and a new mission.
The lens he previously saw things through was the lens of law and it meant death to many followers of Jesus. Do we have a lens of law and death we are seeing things through? Do we punish others for things they have done to us? Many times we’ve been genuinely hurt by people and we talk about forgiving them and we talk about moving on, but are we really doing this?
We sometimes find it difficult to extend mercy and grace to those who have hurt us. I know I’ve had this experience, many times actually! I would do the ‘Christian’ thing and outwardly say I forgave them, etc. but inwardly I wanted punishment merited out. I never said those words out loud but I promise you, my thoughts would sometimes play out some of these things. Thankfully, Holy Spirit alerted me to this and made me aware that my heart had not forgiven them nor had the wound from it been healed.
This is death my friends! This is not mercy and grace. Yes, bad things happen to good people everyday but good people need to remain just that; good people! What is in our innermost heart and thoughts will be made manifest on the outside through words and deeds.
Do we need our own Damascus Road experience, or at least another one? Jesus is in every encounter we have, every day. Let’s begin to see Him there.
Okay, since I’m an encourager, I want to encourage all of us today (not depress us!) and give some suggestions on how we can clean the lenses that we see things through. I have three things that we can do that I think will help that happen. (If you choose)
Since we are the Heirs of Jesus, we are His Church and His Beloved (not yet spotless) Bride…..
1) Will we – spend an entire day believing we are sons and daughters of the King? How would that be different than your ‘usual’ day?
2) Will we – go a single day without pointing a finger at what the Church, (through man) has done to us? How would our posture be different if we walked in a place where we were not victims of what had happened to us but simply took responsibility for our own heart attitudes and our lives? (Hear me on this; I’m not saying the ‘hurt’ didn’t happen, I’m asking, what would it look like if it weren’t at the forefront of our minds, coloring our conversations and actions this day?)
3) Will we – for a single day pause for each person we encounter, long enough to see the treasure that is buried within? Can we see through the pain and hurt they may be experiencing, NOT get offended or be reminded of a previous hurt, but simply love them, right there, right then? When we allow ourselves time to respond instead of reacting, we allow Holy Spirit to speak to us His heart for them. Then we can love because He loved first.