Monday, April 26, 2010

All We Need Is Love...God's Love

John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another"

Have you ever been in a situation where someone has offended you? If you haven't then I would say you're a hermit and you need to get out more! It's hard to be in any relationship without going through some pain at some point. Heck, sometimes you don't even have to be in a relationship. Just drive your car down Highway 281 in San Antonio during rush hour and I'm sure you will get the opportunity to be offended!!! So, what do we do in these circumstances? Or maybe I should say, what SHOULD we do in these circumstances? It is so easy to start pointing the finger at the other person's faults when difficult situations appear. I've noticed that if I really think I'm right, I take it upon myself to correct the other person. I try very politely to convenience them they were wrong. And honestly, I do that without asking God what I should do.

Recently I was approached at church by another church member. The other church member began telling me she didn't like a particular event we have at our church. Unfortunately, she didn't know the event she was criticizing was the event that I coordinate. While she spoke about how awful the event was, my blood began boiling. How in the world could this Christian woman criticize an event at our church and one she admittedly said she had not been to in a couple of years?!?!? AND, if she thought it could improve why didn't she volunteer to help! AND, how awful that she is being so critical of a church event and so vocal about it. What if the non-believers or new comers to our church heard her!?!?! I asked God what I was supposed to say to her to correct her in love, and you know how He responded? He said, "Just love her."

WHAT?!!?!! JUST LOVE HER!??!?! Are you serious, Lord? I'm right on this one! She shouldn't be talking this way and you want me to just LOVE her? Doesn't she know how many hours I put into this event each year? Shouldn't I tell her a thing or two? Just love her? Ok, just love her. So, I replied to the woman, "Thanks for your comments. I'm so sorry to hear that. I'll be sure to pass your comments along and maybe some changes will be made. I pray you have a blessed day!"

That was hard for me to do, but it was the right thing to do. It didn't provoke a fight. It didn't leave her upset at me.

God is our Heavenly Father and the author of love. The Bible even refers to to him as being love. God is love. (1 John 4:8) And God clearly states in His Word that we are to love others. And I'm noticing that it doesn't say we we are to love only those that are nice to us. Matthew 5: 43 - 48 is clear that we are to love our enemies and pray for them! And if you want to dig in your Bible and find out more on love, you must read 1 John, particularly chapters 2 - 4.

I love what John 13: 34-35 says. We will be know by our love for others. NOT we will be known for how we correct others or criticize others.....just love for others. I don't know about you, but I want to be known as a Christian. I want others to see me and think of my Heavenly Father. It's not easy to love others, but if we allow the Holy Spirit to fill our lives and we listen to God and do what He says, He will get the glory and we will avoid all kinds of troubles!

By the way, in my conversation with that nice lady that was criticizing my church program, I did get the opportunity to tell her I coordinated the event when I was loving on her as God instructed me to do. Oh, the look on her face was priceless, and because I was obedient to God and loved on her instead of telling her a thing or two, do you know she actually said she would considering coming to one of my events. Wow! To God be the glory for that! If I would have said what I wanted to say, she probably would have left the church!! (-: God is so good!

Do you want to know how to love others? Well, read good old 1 Corinthians 13. I'm sure you've heard it before, but read it again. Read it slowly and think about each word. Let God show you how you can improve on loving others!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So, What's Their Problem?????!!!?

I get so upset sometimes at my husband. Sometimes he forgets to pick up his shoes in the living room. Can you believe that? You know what else really hacks me off? When I go to church and they don't play the music I like to hear, well, that really stinks! All the songs should be upbeat in my opinion! And why haven't they asked my opinion?????!!!?! And another thing, I'm so sick of hearing another preacher instead of our typical Pastor. Who in the world gave our Pastor the weekend off recently?!!??!

You know what their problem is? Do you know what my husband, my church Music Minister, and my Pastor are doing wrong? NOTHING!!!! They aren't doing anything wrong! It's ME who has a critical attitude. They are just living and trying to walk in the Spirit. I'm being critical and sinning!

I was reading Numbers 12 today. The people there started criticizing Moses, God's chosen leader! Moses helped get these people out of slavery and helped take care of them, but yet they chose to criticize him. The Bible even states in Numbers 12:3 that "Moses was more humble than any other person on earth.", and yet they decided to criticize him. And what do you think God's response to that was? Well, it's wasn't pretty I can tell you for sure. Numbers 12:9 says "The Lord was furious with them".

YIKES! I don't want the Lord to be furious with me. I think I might better change my ways!!

What is criticism? Well, criticism is to dwell on the perceived faults of another person with no aim to their good. Criticism is a SIN! It ruins our fellowship with God and it poisons our relationship with others. It is wrong and petty.

But why do we criticize? Sometimes it's because of unforgiveness, or maybe envy, or maybe even personal failure. Whatever the reason, it's self-exalting and NOT God-exalting.

So, are you a critical person? Are you encouraging someone today, or just putting others down? What would God say about your attitude today?

If you're like me and need some verses to help you get away from a critical attitude. Check out these verses:

  • Proverbs 3:7 "Do not be wise in your own eyes"
  • Philippians 4:8 "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything be excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things"
And by the way, my husband never leaves his shoes in the living room. And, I love the music at my church and hearing from all our Pastors. I do criticize sometimes, but not about these things.

If this information peaks your interest, be sure to read "Lord, Change My Attitude" by James MacDonald!