Allow me to tell you a couple of things I think. I believe all people are born with a sin nature. That the heart is as Jeremiah said: deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jer. 17:9 God sent His Son to die for our sins and to transform us from the inside out. I believe God through the Holy Spirit cleanses and fills us with the Holy Spirit. I believe we need to remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit all of our lives.
I love the Lord and I love His Church. My life has been transformed by Him and blessed by His people in ways too numerous to count. I want to share something that I have been thinking about the last few weeks, and it is something that I ponder daily I call it two ways:
Choice #1 I can be hard on others and then excuse myself for my failings and shortcomings
Option #2 I can be easier on others and harder on myself
Choice #1 Criticize everyone whenever they don’t measure up to my standards
Option #2 Pray and ask God to shows me ways to be of help and to be a blessing to people
Choice #1 Talk about others and criticize their lack of spiritual maturity
Option #2 Talk to God and ask Him to bless and help struggling families and friends
Choice #1 Talk about people
Option #2 Talk to people
Choice #1 Believe by avoiding things and following rules I have become a child of God
Option #2 Remember I was saved by Grace. I did not reform myself. Christ transformed me
Choice #1 People are stupid and they need me to point their stupidity out to them
Option #2 Everyone I meet is going through something and needs an understanding friend
Choice #1 People need to be reminded of truth and that all will answer to God (true)
Option #2 I need to be reminded of truth and that I will answer to God (also true)
Choice #1 We are called to rebuke, correct and discipline…2Tim 4:2
Option #2 Yes and I believe Paul was speaking about the church. What rebuking, correcting and training do I need today?
Choice #1 I can feel smug and self-righteous, grateful that I am not like all of those people
Option #2 I can be broken over the many people who have never heard that God loves them
Choice #1 I can point out the problem(s)
Option #2 I can ask God to allow me to be a part of the solution
I can hear you. You are a compromiser! You have gone soft! But if holiness does anything for us, it ought to make us more sensitive to the heart of the Father, more loving, caring and compassionate. Holiness ought to be less about us and more about Him. Holiness will never glorify a person; the Holy Spirit brings glory to Christ.
Have I succeeded always? No! But the Holy Spirit, the umpire of my heart, convicts and challenges me to Christlikeness. He has made me go back to people and apologize for my spirit, and attitude on several occasions. Have you had to go to someone and apologize and ask their forgiveness? Have you been convicted of something in your life in the last month? To be baptized with the Holy Spirit is to be immersed into His heart and Love. We cannot live 1 Corinthians 13 without the help of the Holy Spirit. I am suspicious of anyone who would try to tell me that they never need to apologize to anyone. You are not holy, rather you are delusional!
Friends it has been a real challenge reading these statements every day in prayer and asking God to show me how to be a better example of His love and compassion.