I know I shouldn't judge but I did anyway

judge not lest you be judged. matt 7

I have a confession. I’m a critical person by nature.

Being critical is being prideful. It’s thinking you know more than your neighbor and pride is the nature of man. It’s only by the Grace and forgiveness of God that we can overcome the pride of the flesh.

We criticize anything or anyone that’s different or anything we don’t understand.

If we don’t understand it, it’s wrong.

If it looks different than what we’ve been taught or known, it’s not the right way.

But is it really a question of one being right and one being wrong, or is it oftentimes more of a perspective and characteristic that is just different.

If we agree on Jesus Christ being the way, the truth and the life, instead of seeing minor differences in a critical manner, what if we looked at it as the beauty of the depths of God.

God is wholly complex, yet wholly simple.

There are depths of Him that we will be discovering and rejoicing over for eternity. That is evidence that He is so complex, so deep and so unsearchable, yet rejoices in revealing Himself and His love to the simple.

You can go to twenty different churches and get twenty different expressions of love for Jesus.

You’ll see silence in one,

Flags and dancing in another.

I can remember standing in different church services (living in Texas, you can almost visit twenty churches on one street), sometimes things looking different then I knew or even was comfortable with.

I’ve been raised to keep my mouth from speaking words of doubt. I’m grateful for my upbringing. It’s saved me in so many situations.

I remember visiting a church a few years ago and during worship they sang a line in a song that I would always change the words to whenever I would sing it.

Immediately my response was a critical and judgemental spirit.

I was judging them for not singing the song the way that I sang it.

At that moment Jesus spoke to my heart and said:

"These people are worshipping me out of a purer heart than you are right now.

While they are ministering to me, you are being critical and it’s keeping you from being a worshipper.”

 

It hit me.

My critical spirit didn’t affect these people’s devotion towards God. It was hindering mine.

I was too busy needing to be right.

The voice of Jesus changed me that day. Now I don’t want to be held back by legalities. I want to pour myself out completely and unhindered to the One who saved me and loves me.

In any church service, instead of being critical, I’m beginning to see beauty.

I would be critical of traditional churches. My heart has changed.

The heart of tradition was founded in beauty. The truth is many traditions were made out of adoration of the Saviour.

 

Do people hold too tightly to them and trust them MORE than they do Jesus?

Of course and this shouldn’t be so.

 

But didn’t I do the same thing as the ones I was being critical of?  What I was holding on to just looked a little different.

I trusted too much in my righteous acts and right doing MORE than what Jesus had done for me.

 

Does anyone have everything right?

No way. We are human.

 

But we are all on a journey, hopefully with hearts to see the true nature of God. To be only loving and never judging the one whom we call brother or sister.

 

I hope this speaks to some of you.

 

Life is far richer when it’s filled with the beauty of relationship with Jesus and not of pride that we know it all.

 

We don’t know everything and to know that truth is to set us free.

Let’s not look at someone who loves Jesus a little differently and judge them for it.

We are not the judge of the heart of man.

Let’s just love Jesus and see the beauty in how someone else does too.

Stand on Shoulders: A Message to the Generations

This post was originally from Timothy Generation.

One of the biggest classrooms that God has placed on this earth is the one of generations.  The education that comes from these lessons you can not get from any other place. The young gleans wisdom from the old. The old gleans from the passion and strength of the young.  Generations are called to be Divinely connected.

As I consider the way many have approached life and ministry, the concept of connected generations is largely forgotten. You’ve got young pastors thinking the older generation is out of touch, and frustrated with the way the previous generation did it, so they go off and do a “brand new thing”. You’ve got some of the older generation looking down on the younger generation, thinking they are reckless and stupid.  One generation wants nothing to do with the other. There ends up being a gap in communication, a gap in vision and therefore a deficiency in our reach.

But friend, this disconnect should not be so.

God has called each generation to work together, hand in hand.

Titus 2:2-7 shows us this:

Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith in love and endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way that they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity.

According to this, there is great power and purpose in our coming together.

And how does that coming together begin?

With honor.

It saddens me to see young people disrespecting elders. They are missing out on so much when they don’t recognize the precious gift God has placed before them.

As the younger generation, we honor the lives they have lived before us. The wisdom that has been gained. The battles and victories that have been won to make our life easier. Just think about it, you and I are walking on paths that the previous generation paved for you. It makes me thankful.

I think about Oral Roberts. His message was “God is a Good God.”  He laid his life down for that message. People hated him for it. He was persecuted, but strived on. Why? He had an assignment to reveal that part of God’s character to His people. Now as a result of that sacrifice, we can learn and teach about God with the foundation of that revelation laid, and it changes everything.

How else is this connection of generations made?

As the younger generation, it’s our responsibility to learn from the lives of the other generations.

I’ve had the privilege of growing up in the Copeland family. Through my life I have seen with my own eyes the integrity of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. They live what they say and LOVE is the theme of their lives.

I must say, one of my favorite things to do is sit at my grandfathers feet, or kitchen table and just listen to revelation and wisdom pour out of his mouth. I often find myself in tears, thankful for the example I have so close to me.

I also am aware that these times are irreplaceable and important for my future.

I’m determined to not go through my life alone.

We must make the choice to place ourselves at the feet of these seasoned ministers and mentors in our lives. They are ready to talk if we prepare our hearts to listen.

I believe the things we learn at the feet of those who have gone before us will equip us in our future steps.

Let’s not disregard the wisdom and time that has been placed in previous generations. They have walked through things we are walking in or will come to in our lives. They obviously have made it through it and have lived to tell about it. So let them tell. And may we listen.

God has great treasures stored in those that have gone before you.

Let’s not think we know it all. Because we don’t. We know some, but the older we get, we’ll see the less we know.

God is building something with these generational relationships. 1 Peter 2:5 says we are living stones He is using for that building.

To you who have walked where we have walked,  we need you. You are not forgotten, but loved. We want to help you. Inspire you, Bless you with our words, our service and our honor.

Thank you for your example. Thank you for laying paths for us to walk in.

We are here to listen like the example of  Psalm 145:4:

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.

We are called to hear their stories and stand upon their shoulders.  Just imagine how much higher we can walk and more we can do when we start on the top floor of a building instead of laying a new foundation.

Our foundation is already laid with Jesus Christ. Those who have gone before Him have built on that.

Yes it will look different, and that’s ok.

The way one generation shares Jesus will be with different methods than the next. But what we learn from them is unchanging. What we learn from them is Jesus and His power.

He stays the same.

I love how Judah Smith puts it:

“We don’t just hand down concepts to our children. We hand down a person: The Lord Jesus Christ, who will reveal Himself to each successive generation. “

Because to be honest, it’s really not about which generation does it best. It’s about Jesus. How can we share His Gospel most effectively? That’s what we’re here for. It’s not by being divided but joining together in unity, knowing each person has their own strength and treasure to offer.

I’m ready to open my heart wider, keep my eyes open for those I can learn from and those I can serve.

In Joel 2:28 you see both the young  and old being used by God. He doesn’t differentiate whom He pours His spirit upon. May the older ones open their ears to listen as the young men and women prophecy. May the younger ones open their eyes to see the dreams God has graced the elders with. And may we all come together in unity to see God’s Kingdom advanced.