I'm a fairly black and white person. Something is either right or wrong, true or false, good or bad. Though, there are also things that I am unqualified to know. Things I won't weigh in on which frustrates my husband to no end. My standard answer to those topics "That's for God to decide when it's time, not me." I'm not trying to get out of a tight spot or avoid giving a controversial opinion....it is genuinely how I feel. God is the ultimate judge and there are some things that simply are to big for my small human mind to wrap itself around. And who am I know think I know the mind of my God with certainty?
I hate the conversation of being judgmental. I honestly do. It is filled with snares and stumbling blocks and faintly defined borderlines between judgment and conviction, condemnation and accountability, superiority and humility. I fall into each and every trap with the best of intentions. I hold myself to a high standard and quite honestly find myself too often in a place of wonder. I wonder if my standards are higher than others. If I've somehow misunderstood what the conduct of a Christ follower should be. Why I am so often surprised by people who call themselves Christians but behave like they've never met Christ.....and in some cases like they've never heard of Him. I wonder what it is about me that my mind is so easily blown by the Choose Your Own Adventure Christians, you know the ones that know what the bible says but only live by and believe in the principals they choose to be worthy....or maybe easy is more accurate.
Is it good or bad that it doesn't occur to me that a Christ follower would not control their language? It really never ceases to shock me that people who in every aspect of their visible walk to the world seem to be so close in relationship to Christ and then they take the Lord's name in vain in open conversation. Curses just fall out of their mouths without shame, hesitation or apology.
Language. Why the Lord has it so pressed into my feeble mind and heart to pay attention to it, I don't know. Yet there it is. The structure of a sentence - is it focused on the positive or the negative? A comment - does it cut down or build up? A conversation or story - where is the focus, on the circumstance or the person? Helpless or helpful? End of the world or joyful in all circumstances? Are 4 letter words being spoken out of heightened emotion or is it just part of their vocabulary?
It makes me sad, confused and at the same time totally convicted because I don't want to stand in judgment of someone else's walk. We are all in different places and we are all in various seasons in life and learning. It nags me though, honestly. My heart is stabbed when another throws God's name around in vain but when another Christ follower does it....I don't know that I have the right words to even describe what that feels like. Not just that my heart is offended, my spirit sickened but that in the biggest more important context - it has not even occurred to them how they hurt Him! Has it? If it had wouldn't they stop? I am brought to silence each and every time, my mind screeches to a halt and my tongue goes dead. Then my mind explodes in different directions my mouth cannot even articulate. Do they know what they just said? Why did they say it? Have they considered how the use of His name in that way negates anything they say to His glory? How can you boast about God's goodness while using His name to curse? What does it say to the world if His representatives are spewing curse words? What if the only thing they do is whine and complain in negative language the way the Worldlings do? What distinguishes them, sets them apart?
The Lord gives hope to the hopeless. So why do so many seem unable to apply this to their lives??
It plagues me. I have yet to learn how to calm my mind quickly enough to free up my mouth to say anything. To gain control of my shock so that whatever words I might deliver would be delivered in a loving way and not in a condemning tone. I hate that in those weak moments where I'm knocked off balance my pride can get elevated and my attitude can get judgy. It is in these moments where sadness hits me and I think.....its no wonder we all get such a bad rap. We just don't represent Him well.
The silver lining in it all.....He is perfect where we are not. His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in our weakness. He is good. He is the source for any goodness we embody. He is the resource for our change. He created us in His image, so there is not one of us that is unable to change and grow. Not one of us is beyond help, it's never too late to change an attitude or a life. Free will. We all have a choice....we just have to make one.
Blessings of strength to chose Him in everything, embrace His grace and remain weak enough that you are required to cling to Him for strength beyond yourself.