So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified. Romans 15:7
Since the word “turn” is being whispered in my ear and seems to be in bold print on every page of Scripture I read, I was hoping to hear from some of you in response to my recent blog (“As the World Turns”), thinking God was surely starting a movement. But, at the moment, the move is in my court.
Oh, the patience and kindness of God on my behalf! I’m slow to learn that turning (from self and sin) to godliness is a lifestyle, not an occasional “come to Jesus” reckoning. It’s me, O, Lord, standing in the need of prayer. Recently I’ve been brought face to face with a couple of other issues – my own pride and prejudice that may be a lot uglier than Mr. Darcy’s (from the novel and movie of that name), because mine is a sin against my God and His precious lambs.
In The Cry of the Hidden Heart, I recently read my own words, “I try to refrain from giving myself permission to occupy the throne of judgment. It is a place far too lofty for someone of my limited understanding.” Well, apparently, either amnesia has set in or I’ve drifted toward the conclusion that, as the years have marched on, I’m more mature, more able to judge the spirituality of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Who am I to judge another’s servant? … Pride!
And, while I’ve been praying for unity in the Body of Christ, I’ve sometimes been looking askance at those whose worship style or brand (denomination) is different than mine, blind to the fact that in so doing, I’m failing to accept others as Christ has accepted me – warts, dirt and all. … Prejudice!
I have had to confess that ultimately, by being critical of His choices in picking His kids and gifting them in such very diverse ways, I’ve become an instrument of division, not of unity, and I’ve dishonored Jesus who is Head over His body. Lord, have mercy!
In Jane Austen’s story, love wins! Mr. Darcy’s love for the beautiful Elizabeth Bennet obliterated all the prideful objections he had to her pitiful station in life. How grateful I am for the love of God reaching out to rescue me from my pitiful, prideful self and for opening my eyes to the beautiful variety of gifts He gives us in one another. I’m praying God will give me the grace to turn from judging to celebrating His wild and wonderful creativity in those of us who bear His image and His name.
Will you join me in making our Father’s heart glad by asking Him to make us instruments of reconciliation within the body of Christ? And, if He is moving on your heart to “turn,” let us hear from you.