I wonder if we lack true understanding of what it means that everything comes from God, goes through Him and goes back to Him (Rom. 11:36).
That means everything we need comes from God. And everything God wants for us comes from Him.
I think sometimes we believe that we have to work hard to be good, to do good and to bring God glory. But that belief keeps our focus on performing for God. That is not how His kingdom operates.
And when we believe that our good behavior is what brings God satisfaction and bad behavior His displeasure, where does that leave us? Operating out of fear of failing. How can we feel significant when we are faced daily with our inadequacies?
But … what if it’s less about what we do and more about how we position ourselves?
If it’s true that everything good comes from God (James 1:7), then why are we trying to so hard to do good and be good? When that essentially isn’t possible in our own human strength?
If good behavior gets us heavenly credit then Jesus wouldn’t have come down on the Pharisees so strongly.
We need to understand that God isn’t looking at behavior… or sin (because he’s already dealt with our sin in Jesus).
When we can change our lens to see God’s goodness rather than our failure or success, then we become able to receive His love for ourselves.
When we receive His love without reserve, we become less self-focused and more able to be a conduit of God’s goodness to others. (Rather than a judge of their behavior.)
It’s when we lack love that our primary focus is on behavior rather than the person.
It’s easy to judge the motives behind someone’s behavior and be completely wrong. We’ve only walked in our shoes, not theirs.
So we are going to filter everything through the only lens we have. We can’t know how they view the world or how their internal motivations were formed, or even what those motives are.
We can decide what is important in life. But my priorities are based on experiences that have touched my life and formed my beliefs in my nearly half-century of living. I haven’t been adopted, abused, or raised in a single parent home. So how can I judge the behaviors of someone who has?
Maybe Jesus wants to touch someone’s life through what He’s deposited in us? Maybe it’s love that heals the hurts that keep tripping us into sinful choices. Maybe it’s love and not judgment that will pull us out of ditches and clean us up.
We step into pride when we judge. We are called to love first. Love covers sin (1 Peter 4:8).
Why did God cover sin with love rather than judgment? Maybe because love gives people an opportunity to choose their better self.
And when a person is covered by love they stop being afraid (1 John 4:18). They step away from defensiveness which gives God an opportunity to shine light where healing needs to take place.
Love opens the door to healing which leads to wiser choices as transformation takes place.
This is what brings significance to our lives.
Father, give me eyes to see as You see…with love. Remove judgment from me and let me be a part of someone else’s walk to freedom. Help me in my own walk…to see as you see, think as you think and love as you love. In Jesus’ name, amen.