I did not grow up in a christian family, as a matter of fact my family all came from a past of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol, suicide attempts, and a lot of attempts to break cycles while being broken. When I came to Christ I had a lot of brokenness, and although Christ can and will heal broken hearts, this is not a quick fix. I expected that when I went to church I’d be embraced and loved, but instead I’ve been hurt, judged, and mistreated by those who are supposed to be Godly leaders. I’ve gotten close to pastors and Sunday school leaders just to be witness to them shining a light on a newcomers mess, stuff that should be held with the utmost confidentiality and dignity,with the intent of informing others of that families business. Churches want to grow and thrive yet its own leaders are failing the families who need them the most. I am not exempt.
When I married my husband I finally found a good one who comes from a family who loves God, so I expected to be embraced, loved, and accepted. Yet right now I am feeling the pain of gossip. I have been criticized, judged, deemed unworthy, and feeling somewhat rejected by people who are supposed to love God and who I thought would love me like God loves people. This is the pain of gossip. Many of the lifers I will call them, the ones who have gone to church and served as members of their churches their entire lives might not practice lewd behavior, they might not have drug addictions or be engaging in any obvious sinful actions, yet they judge, criticize, and gossip. This is what keeps the hurting away. My pastor has reached out to us since we’ve been away, yet when i think about going back to church I recall the regular lifers who are mean, critical, and are gossips. These are many of our church leaders today. I’m grown up, I understand that no one is perfect, but i’ll tell you what, as coming from a person who has come to Jesus with lots of brokenness that those who are the most prime for Jesus are not the hypocrites. They are real people with ugly faces who wont trust people when their love is not genuine. They might not observe acceptable social graces but Jesus didn’t come to call the righteous, but the sick and when you gossip you are far from being like Jesus. What the world needs is Jesus, not judges. It is very painful for a person who needs real healing to be real around a bunch of gossips.
To have genuine love we must practice what Jesus taught us to practice. We need forgiveness. We need to be quick to forgive. We need to pray for that person who hurts us, judges us, abuses us, not gossip about them or hurt them. We are in a spiritual war and in this war people see others actions with magnifying glasses and their own with rose colored lenses, but Jesus said that instead of trying to remove our brother’s speck we ought to be focused on the dirt in our own lenses, and if we say we have no sin then we have lied and the truth is not in us. Jesus had every justification to have the righteous throw stones at a sinner caught in adultery, but instead he said “he without sin cast the first stone”. He says that when we correct our own behavior then we will display humility in helping another because we wont have the attitude that we know better or are better. Jesus said the last will be first and the first will be last. He said that we all fall short of the glory of God and our righteousness are like filthy rags. Lord I pray that you will help all of your children really know what it means to be like Jesus.
No one can make another person see the error of their own ways. The way I see it is that humility is a blessing to those who are willing to lay down their lives in order to really know Jesus. There is no sense in arguing with anyone or trying to change them. Christian brothers and sisters throw stones at each other in a competition. Another might be throwing stones at you and cursing you, being in rivalry with you but you do not have to play. Put your stone down and walk away. Put your hope in Jesus, he is the only one who will know the truth anyways. If you have Jesus, you have all that you need, and to be Jesus is what we need but first we must suffer like Jesus did to know what it means to forgive like he did.
It is only after we have been hurt like Jesus has that we will understand the pain like he has and when we are forgiven much we then love much because when we know that we are not worthy or better than anybody then we also wont be quick to judge anybody because we are humbled and know that we are or have been in that same place, instead of hurting another we should be praying for them, protecting their dignity, and forgiving them. Being like Jesus starts with forgiveness. If we hold things against someone else we will never get to know what it means to truly be a genuine christian because Christianity is hanging on the cross for our brethren, it is forbearance, it is lifting a brother or sister up instead of trying to step up on a higher pedestal, it is believing the best, hoping the best, and letting our love be the best. Jesus said if anyone wants to be great among you, let him be your servant.
We all have offenses, but no one else can clear us of our offenses except for Jesus. Who are we to judge another man’s servant? But we are all held to the same expectations, to give, to forgive, to love and be like Jesus. Who are we to say to the provider what are the fair wages? Shall we tell him that he owes us more since we have worked longer ? Or should be praise him for being such a good provider that he will give much to someone who he just hired? We will all be rewarded according to our own faithfulness in the right way, in God’s time but we are all expected to be obedient with what assignment he has given until then.