By Bethany Lashbrook
Today’s Verse: Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
The other day, Clint and I were enjoying a (rare quiet) moment together and we were “discussing” some issues. The issue doesn’t matter, what matters is that Clint and I felt the need to discuss it. We weren’t gossiping, we weren’t talking bad, or making fun. We were just addressing something that someone else was doing and we would never do. For lack of a better word, I would call it complaining. We were complaining. After a long hard day at work for both of us, and supper to follow with cleanup and bedtime routine, we deserved a little complaining, right?
As we finished talking, we had it figured out. We were right. The end. And then I picked up a Daily Bread. It wasn’t even current. It was the January – March one. I flipped it open to a random page and on it was this word: “SLACKER”. Say what? I’ve never seen this word used in devotion.
As I continued to read this devotion, my heart sunk to my knees and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. You know those moments – where you say “Lord, Lord, the world is so BIG and yet you took this small moment to teach me this lesson?” In awe and amazement I showed Clint. He too felt small.
Slacker was termed in this devotion as someone who doesn’t read the bible daily or might slack in his/her prayer life. Slacker was identified as someone who skips church, even if just once a month to sleep in. Slacker was someone who saw a need and walked right by this need as if he/she didn’t see it. Slacker could be a Godly term. It didn’t have to be worldly.
There I sat, a hypocrite, at it’s finest. Yep, I said it. I was being hypocritical. I had failed to remove the plank from my own eye as I was clearly noticing the speck in my brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5). My problem was this. I was on the worldly track of the term slacker.
Television gives me this idea. People give me this idea. Satan and this world give me these ideas. We are to live this way or live that way. But, when I live worldly, I don’t live Godly. I can’t be of both worlds. I am to regard people from a Christ-like point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16).
There I sat, amazed at God’s timing once again in my life. I realized those sayings I spoke like “ I will NEVER do that”, or “thank goodness I do that differently” instead became the Lord referring me back to my ways. I quickly had to ask for forgiveness for not reading the bible that day, but instead caring about what someone was wearing. Forgiveness was needed for getting upset that it took so long in the checkout line when I was grumpy with the cashier. I should have instead been using this awkward five minutes to ask this lovely woman about her day and show Jesus to her.
Jesus presents himself in everyday opportunities. And so does Satan. I am a firm believer of this. This could be a whole discussion in itself. BUT, the point of this devotion is this: We must not be critical of those worldly things around is because they are that – worldly. However, we must remember that the Lord has shown us how to live in a book. The bible reminds us when we are being hypocritical. I know many Christians don’t like this word. But, the shoe fit and I was wearing it. It was no clearer than if Jesus would have been standing in my family room discussing it with me.
Lesson learned, Father. Lesson learned.
Dear Father, forgive me for my impatience, my need to discuss issues that aren’t mine, and my human nature of pointing out other’s faults when I have so many of my own. Thank you for your constant forgiveness in my life and thank you for the awesome sacrifice that was given so I can one day meet you in Heaven. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Application: Try to remember a term recently you have used like “always” or “never” and refer it back to your own life. We don’t know other people’s circumstances and we don’t know why they have chosen to do these things. Try rephrasing your sentence to “I will try to (fill in the blank)” or “I would rather not (fill in the blank). Redirect your attention to what you will try to do or rather not do in your own life. Clearly focus through God’s eyes on the nature of your own ways!
Psalm 5:8, “Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies – make your way straight before me.” (NIV)
Psalm 139:24, “And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (KJV)
Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. (KJV)