Romans 12:3 ” For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.
I am finding my own personal experience has become the measure I use to judge others. What am I sowing?
Matt 7:1-2 Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.
2 For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.
Oh Lord, my measure of wrong seed has been huge…… I just repent and ask you to forgive me. Help me learn your ways. Help me to love. This is yet another area I am finding that my heart has become “conformed to this world.”
Romans 12 :2 clearly states, ‘Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
It is worldly and natural to judge others in this manner. It is logical. It is within my own ability and power to do so. However, last I checked I no longer belonged to myself. I belong to Him. That is the old way of judging. It is limited and deathly. My opinion has killed many times. I consider myself dead to that, that way being crucified on the cross. I see myself yielded and submitted to Christ. Proving what is the good and acceptable will of God in my life.
I Cor. 4: 5-7 So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God.
6 Now I have applied all this [about parties and factions] to myself and Apollos for your sakes, brethren, so that from what I have said of us [as illustrations], you may learn [to think of men in accordance with Scripture and] not to go beyond that which is written, that none of you may be puffed up and inflated with pride and boast in favor of one [minister and teacher] against another.
7 For who separates you from the others [as a faction leader]? [Who makes you superior and sets you apart from another, giving you the preeminence?] What have you that was not given to you? If then you received it [from someone], why do you boast as if you had not received [but had gained it by your own efforts]?
My vision is broken and inflamed with my own pride. Instead of loving my neighbor as myself, I love myself, my opinion, my feelings, and my ways and treat my neighbor as inferior. This kind of love is not really love, but a Jenni imitation of God’s love. A designer knock off, if you will. God plans for us to be clothed with Christ not designer knock offs. When I allow myself to be clothed with Christ, His love draws me into unity with those He puts in my path. Even if I don’t understand or can’t grasp what they are doing. His love always connects. When I operate in Jenni’s love, it separates me. This is what happened yesterday. I felt separated and had a hard time getting back on track. Inside I was praying and asking the Lord for help, which caused me to be silent as she was speaking. My silence was interpreted as disapproval but really was me in process of submitting my heart. My dear friend was so kind and patient with me as the Lord helped me gently shift from Jenni’s opinion to His love. We left our conversation with warm hearts, that are united in His love. The enemy was thwarted, yet again! Praise God!
The cry of my heart is to stop living my life from Jenni’s view. It is limited and so puny. God has given me His heart for each situation I face, but it is my job to stop and receive it. I must seek it. I must ask for it. I must receive it. Truly like the Psalmist wrote:
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.
It is just as Joyce writes, ” The bottom line is this–God’s way works, man’s ways don’t. Love what God loves and hate what He hates. Allow what He allows and disallow what He disallows.” God will create in us a clean heart as we do our part. What is our part? We must trade our ways of thinking, doing, speaking for His. It is called renewing our minds. Just think, I get to trade in my Jenni wisdom, which is characterized by condemnation, derision, sarcasm, scorn, unbelief and a critical spirit for His. Which is filled with Love, Hope, Faith, Joy, Patience, Gentleness and Self Control. What a Trade! I take it!