Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What? That's In Me? NO!

My, my, where does the time go? I can't believe it's been almost a month since I wrote a post on this blog. I have been busy. Who isn't? And I have had lots of thoughts and ideas of things to write about, but just haven't.

Today in My Utmost for His Highest the reading is something that especially spoke to me because it speaks to a basic struggle of mine. I'm a perfectionist by nature and that is good for my job as an editor. That particular character quality however plays havoc with personal relationships. It's as natural to me to size up a situation or person and to make a snap judgment, which way too often leads to judgment and criticism. An editor is supposed to do that. A relational person cannot do that.

Thus, the reading for today speaks to me. Here it is:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1

Jesus says regarding judging - Don't. The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person's place.

There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-20). Stop having a measuring rod for other people. There is always one fact more in every man's case about which we know nothing. The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual spring-cleaning; there is no possibility of pride left in a man after that. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.

Is this not a great writing?

I have already discovered an interesting thing in others, which is probably as evident in me to others as theirs is to me. That "thing" is when I hear someone complain loudly or long about something or criticize another, I usually see that characteristic strongly in the one talking. Paul and I have had a good time discussing that fact.

Personal lesson in that for me is when I find myself criticizing or angry at another over a certain thing, I have learned to look at why that is so disturbing. Way too often I find that I have that very same thing within and to a larger degree, but unrecognized. It's been an interesting journey down this road. My unrecognized characteristics that I'm blind to are touched and make me angry and upset with someone else who shows those characteristics. Methinks this wouldn't happen if I didn't already have something similar in me to touch. Interesting, interesting.

Don't you think that's amazing? As I am open to letting myself think this through, I am learning a lot about myself. That's what most of Oswald Chamber's writings do for me. He puts into words what I'm already learning intuitively, so that when I read it, I say YES! That is so true!

Did you notice I used present tense in the previous paragraph? I wrote, "He puts" as if he's still alive. I think relational truth remains active and present no matter when it's written. With that, I close. MB


Bobby Brown said...

These verses are from the Message and you might note they come in context with his brief words about homosexuals. "Those people are in a dark spiral downwards" "but"

Romans 2

1-2 Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn't so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you've done.
3-4You didn't think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he's such a nice God, he'd let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Again in the NAS

1Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

3But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Mary Burleson said...

Hey, Bobby, Read the scriptures you wrote yesterday but didn't have time to comment.
WOW! Are those appropriate verses or what? I was amazed at how relevant they are and how they say so well what I was trying to say. I love The Message and the way the author has translated or transliterated the scriptures. It really grabs ya'. So often, I want to say, Yes, Yes!! And that was my response to these verses. Thanks for taking the time to put them here.

Bobby Brown said...

I see Christians being so critical of others who's life styles do not match their own sub-culture. The classic example would be the homosexual. I found it interesting that after what Paul had to say about them that he would add these verses. Have we forgotten that it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance rather than condemnation? Isn't repentance what we would like to see?

I can barely remember reading "The Shack" but didn't the Holy Spirit take Mac to the judgement seat and tell him that he was going to sit on the seat and be the judge? I thought about me being the judge. If I were I think I would want to set the standard lower rather than higher so that I would be more likely to pass the test!