Sunday, August 11, 2013
I was very inspired today by listening to the message at church because mainly it hits home in my heart and makes me examine my own. We are doing a series called "Back to Eden" and the message today was about the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Before Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit they were totally dependent on God. They had Peace in depending on God and not knowing everything. They were shameless, naked and feared nothing.
My preacher Jonathan Martin, was talking about how Cynicism is very closely related to the first sin. The serpent only had to whisper that they could be "like God, knowing everything." I didn't realize this before but we still struggle soo much with that same sin, including myself. At first, listening to this message I was thinking "Good. This is a message about Pharisee, religious people who think they are better than everybody else." but it effected me too, because as I was thinking that, I was already placing myself above knowing more than other people. I am already thinking I know who is right and who is wrong, kinda like I'm God. Do you get my drift?
We grow up in a world where we are always making verdicts about everybody. For example, ever known anybody for years and someone can easily whisper something in your ear about them and all of a sudden you start seeing them differently, just because of that? Or you know someone who you look at as being in a higher spiritual place than you could never be at and then all of a sudden you find out something bad about that person and you actually feel relieved about it that they are closer to your level? We start judging other people because we feel that we are more knowledgeable and have the right to discern what is good and bad, while also deciding who is good and bad. We start thinking we are like God!
Totally blew my mind! When you start "playing God" you start to slowly not need God. You do not depend on him so much to help you see the problems in your own life because hey at least your not as bad as that person over there! If you have the power to see good and evil why depend on Love and Grace when you can depend on your "moral system". If you read scripture in order to gain the ability to make proper judgements, you're eating the fruit that Adam & Eve ate. That is what's wrong with a lot of us Christians and NonChristians in the world. We have a skewed vision of what Love is and what it looks like, because since we have all fallen, it is not natural for us to see it.
In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus corrects us with saying "Why look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye when you have a plank in your own eye." We naturally see everyone else as having a plank in their eye and a speck in our own. Love and scripture teach you to look differently at that, actually the opposite.
One example I saw in my own life as doing this was just yesterday. I had plans with a friend to go out to eat and then they texted and said they were tired and just going home. I didn't think anything of it, was a little disappointed because when your pregnant the nights where you feel like going out are few and far between so I just stayed home and ate pizza. Then I heard the next day the person had actually lied, gone shopping with another friend and didn't want to go sit down and eat. This isn't the first time that had happened with this friend so I was angry and hurt. I WANTED to write them off. I just couldn't see why "some people" were raised differently than me, because I was raised if you say your going to be somewhere you keep your word and you make an effort to be there. Usually if I don't want to do anything I just tell my friend the truth and would never be shady. But in essence since I keep MY value system, I expect others to do the same, and when they don't follow through with it, like me, I automatically see myself as being a higher moral, better knowing, more accountable person that them. Once again, I have my own knowledge of good and evil and once again I am putting myself like God and above others.
This is not to take a jab at that person, it is to show my own vanity and pride in my life. Is it easy for me to forgive and forget? No, it is not, I really don't wan to. I want to feel better than that person that hurt me, I want to feel more superior than them. I want to TEACH them a lesson and I want to shame them (like I'm playing God). It is sooo much easier to write people off that have hurt you then it is to LOVE them. That is why I say it is harder to live under Love than the Law because the law would make me feel better about myself in this situation, but Love makes me look at myself and the plank in my own eye. I challenge you to look at situations in your life where you feel better and take more pride in yourself than other people and are not totally forgiving of someone because you see they don't deserve it. Guess what? You don't deserve it either. Because as much as I try to uphold my moral values, I know I've hurt people too. I deserve not to be forgiven but God is way more Gracious than me and he is teaching me to Love like he does, not how I see who is fit to Love. Because so much Grace has been given to me in my life, I only need to Return that Grace to others tenfold.
Leaving you with this, here are some verses to help us live with Love instead of judgement:
-Live in humble self-awareness of your own humanity and sin. -Rom 12:3
-Live in the Love that always hopes and believes (in others). -1 Cor 13:7
-Live the Love that covers others the way God covers us. -1 Peter 4:8