Do not judge lest you be judged. (Matthew 7:1 NASB)
A couple days ago Jael, one of our blogging fam, responded to my mention of Church Discipline. She expressed the fact that people fear and have no confidence in the system. Her comments hit home with me in a big way. So I wanted to ponder it a bit with you all.
I understand this fear. I have personally found myself behind closed doors with no less than 3 different church boards or representatives thereof not to mention a pastor or two. In my life, most of these brushes with “the man” have worked to my good, though honestly speaking, at the time, there would usually be a bit of a tailspin directly following such events.
But I would eventually pull up – encourage my self in the Lord – and deal with it. In most cases I didn’t receive (or accept) the critique right away, and I got really defensive at first. In a couple cases I had to reach out years later, once God had brought me at my own speed, a snail pace, to see that I had been out of line, and ask for forgiveness where I had been hurtful.
The fact is, until I got these things right, the Lord was just going to keep leading me back to places and people who would poke me. He was trying to fix something in my life. I would never grow past that place until I dealt with that particular plank in my eye.
I have pretty broad shoulders (perhaps a little droopy – I should have heeded my mother’s exhortation to sit up straight I suppose) or perhaps it is just that I put on a hard shell of armor, but these encounters didn’t crush me. I was blessed to be in situations where men and women of God were actually meddling in my life because they cared about my growth and my relationship with God and with my brothers and sisters.
David makes two statements in the Psalms that are floating around in my head as I ponder this.
For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul. ~ Psalm 142:4 NASB
Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head. ~ Psalm 141:5 NASB
These two verses together get to the heart of this for me.
I had (and have) people in my life that cared for my soul. What a blessing! And when a man or woman takes the time and courage required to correct me (I can be a little intimidating I am told, but I am really just a teddy bear) I see that it is a great kindness to me, when the easier path would be to let it go and just let me spin-off into error or deception.
[OK that was more testimony time that I was planning – sorry I am rambling a bit]
Enough for today. I still want to touch on the ‘how to’ side of this, so will you come back for one more day?
Thanks for sticking it out with me through this touchy subject.
See you tomorrow.