Ponder and Pray

[ 0 ] May 1, 2009 |

Poignant statement: As a Christian develop kind and gracious disposition towards all but particularly those who are fallen and hurt. Believers restore and not destroy.

 


 

Subject: Things are not as they seem
Scripture: Isaiah 11:3

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the paradigm of all things wonderful and beautiful. The way He loved the people, cared for them and dealt with them are magnificent. He loved to the point of dying for sinners on the cross. Sinners came to him with all boldness because they knew He would not condone their wrongdoings but not condemn either. They knew He would understand them, forgive them and give them one more opportunity to live righteously. He was in the business of repairing ‘broken’ reed and saving ‘flickering; wick of faith of the people. In Isaiah 11:3 we see one more great quality of the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah. It is said of Him “He will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears”. Jesus did not rely on outward appearance or by the mere words that someone said. He judged with righteousness. He didn’t cheat the poor justice, and if the poor and the weak are given justice, then all will be. He knows deeper that what we see and hear. He created our heart and knows us more that we know ourselves. This is an assurance as well as warning for us.
How many times we have been guilty of hearing and seeing things and making judgment. We then go around gossiping and destroying the lives of people because we believed what we saw and heard. I recently saw a movie called Doubt and there the preacher gives a beautiful illustration on not gossiping. He says one day a woman was caught gossiping about a person. The preacher told her to go home and take a feathered pillow up the roof, let all the feathers out of the pillow in the wind and then come back to him. The woman went to the house took a feathered pillow and went up the roof of her tall building. She ripped the pillow and let all the feathers out in the wind and they flew all over the place. Then she came back and told the preacher what she had done. The preacher told her to go back and collect all the feathers and put them back in the pillow. The woman says.” But I cannot do that as the feathers have blown away in all directions and it will be impossible to collect them now” The preacher told her. “Your gossiping has gone and spread all over and now you have done irreparable damage. Just as you cannot gather all the feathers so can no one now control the gossip you have spread and damaged the reputation of the person?”

In the course of life we see and hear many things and some of them are true, some of them look true, some are outright false and some are perceived to be truth. We need to be wise and take care that we just do not judge just by seeing and hearing. I read one more little article which illustrates what I am saying.

A woman was waiting at an airport one night.
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.
She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gutsy “cookie thief!” diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I’d blacken his eye!”
With each cookie she took, he took one, too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he’d do.
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, “Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he’s also rude,
Why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!”
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look back at the “thieving ingrate.”
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!
“If mine are here,” she moaned with despair,
“Then the others were his and he tried to share!”
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!

The church should be in the business of building and not destroying lives but we know many times we have engaged in murderous judgment and at times damage has been too grave.

The Pastors and mature members of the church will have to be careful that we take seriously the scandal of gossip among us. Because we are a close community we are mostly aware of what is happening among us. It is possible that we know some members of the church may be committing sin and they need to be confronted and corrected. We should never let a sin in the church fester but nor we have the right to destroy a person who is fallen. The book of Galatians says, “Brothers if someone is caught in a sin you who are spiritual should restore him gently…” William Barclay says, the word ‘restore‘ is used for executing a repair and also for the work of a surgeon in removing some growth from man’s body or in setting a broken limb.’ The whole emphasis is not on penalty but restoration and amendments. A wounded person needs careful dealing so that the wound is healed and not aggravated.

Jesus came to this earth to mend broken relationship of the people to God and one another. He was extremely wise and tender towards sinners. No one felt rejection but all were confronted with the truth of their lives. Of course many denied but many faced the truth and repented and their relationship with God was restored. We, as His people have to live and act in such a way that our lives are a rebuke to the world and the world will accept their wickedness and come to the Lord. But how we rebuke the people is very crucial. No wonder Jesus called us the salt of the earth and light of the world. We change the people by identifying with their weakness and by revealing the darkness of the people. Both salt and light does not speak but they are very effective in going deeper and penetrating the most obstinate darkness of the world.

Here is a great tool to examine to find out if your perception is right or wrong
Ensuring your own perceptions and others are in fact true is generally the first step in solving more complex problems, and they can usually be “corrected” by working on examining by using some of the following strategies:

• Experience – Try to isolate the important details of the perception and look at them objectively. The critical thinking skill of determining causality is key here.

• Sense Errors – ensure that you are working with accurate data. Question each input you are getting from your actual senses, as well as information being delivered to you by others.

• Subconscious Denial – While there is much to be said about “think then do”- if your thinking is flawed then so will your doing. Commit to the truth, because it will set you free.

Even if we eventually find out that something is wrong we are to wisely and prayerfully decide how to solve the problem so that the person being or doing wrong can be rescued from his folly. Remember the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ to the woman caught in the very act of adultery. He said, “Go, I will not condemn you (forgiveness and acceptance) and sin no more (warning and challenge). Jesus did not hide the truth but then he was equally quick to make sure that the person is not guilt ridden for the rest of life. His revelation leads to restoration if the offending person accepts his wrongdoings.

To those who have the pernicious habit of gossiping I urge you to stop as it has the potential of destroying someone’s life. To those who are hurt by gossip and if it is not true then I urge you to take heart and keep living and serving God. To those who believe in gossip I urge you to favour yourself by not tolerating anyone who comes to you with juicy gossip about anything or anyone. Throw them out of your presence without apology.
We all want peace and happiness in our life but many times they allude us. If we gossip, judge and have no regard for the reputation of others, these emotions and actions eat our spirit and completely destroy our inner spiritual equilibrium. So beloved the secret of living in total tranquillity is to simply avoid the poison of gossip and judgemental spirit. If you see something genuinely wrong then pray and seek God’s grace to help the person and at times not interfering will be a way of genuine help.

A little humor to end: A country pastor complained to one of his members who had not bee in church the previous Sunday. “I had haying to do,” the farmer explained. “It was over in the back field where no one could see me working on the Sabbath.” “But God saw you,” the pastor protested. “I know that, but He’s not as gossipy as the people around here!” How true and so let God be the judge.

Poignant statement: As a Christian develop kind and gracious disposition towards all but particularly those who are fallen and hurt. Believers restore and not destroy.

 


Prayer: Lord, let my eyes, ears and lips be dedicated to see, hear and speak that build people. Let me be always alert and be an agent of healing rather than an agent of hurt.

Republished in new layout on 8/6/2013

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Category: Devotion