“12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.”
This passage delivers such conviction! I strongly believe that each encounter, every single one, is inspired to teach. What are you learning from those you encounter each and every day? You are not simply on a hamster wheel without purpose and most importantly without destination. Your life is God-inspired and perfectly designed by your Creator.
I almost could not see through the endless piles of documents, patient charts, and mail as I opened by office door this Wednesday morning. You see, being away from work for over a week can be relaxing from some, but for others, let’s just say – stress awaits! In my organizational attempt to outline and complete my “to-do” list, I almost missed the most important part of my day – interacting with people – learning from others.
The “old me” would have basically locked my door and knocked out all my tasks until fully completed – to essentially achieve peace in accomplishment. However, let me emphasize, the “old me.” I’m not perfect, but I placed my worries and stress into the hands of Father God and kept my door open. Don’t get me wrong…you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Leaving my office door open signifies, “I’m available to you!” Meaning, I will drop whatever I’m doing to listen and engage in your request, your problem, your story no matter what is in front of me or what deadline I must meet. For someone with a task-oriented personality, this can be rather difficulty – but I did it!
During one late afternoon open door encounter, I was brought to such conviction and quietness as one individual began to ask for prayer for a new onset of significant medical complications. My soul rested and peace filled the atmosphere as God appeared to say, “This is what life is about my child” – listening, engaging, sympathizing, ministering, and praying. This individual shared a profound prospective that is worth spreading to the world.
Through her eyes, she sees and has experienced judgement herself. People can truly be cruel, hateful, jealous, and down right mean. In her words, “After dealing with the loss of a child and a near death encounter myself, I choose to love others and show compassion. There is no time for hypocrisy, backstabbing, jealously, and rudeness.” These words were sharp yet needed to be spoken. It was almost like a cleansing. Truth and light are power. Darkness will be exposed and lies will be crushed! The devil has convinced many that it is our right to judge others. I mean, I have “better taste” than she does so that gives me the right to judge how she chooses to live; I have advanced educational degrees so that gives me the right to judge him for his lack of knowledge. I have lived in large metropolitan areas so that gives me a right to judge those who never left “small-town” living; I have worked in this job for a lot longer than she has so that gives me the right to judge her for her errors…o.k. you see how silly this sounds! We would never stand for this if someone outright verbalized this type of thinking. However, we ALL believe some form of this as it relates to our own lives. Let’s stop the cycle now!
We are not qualified, justified, or deemed righteousness enough to judge anyone; this can only be fulfilled by the hands of the Lord. Let us seek peace and understanding as we draw others closer to God the Father, not farther away!