Archive for April 26th, 2016

Character and Understanding

April 26th, 2016

With the kind You show Yourself kind; With the blameless You show Yourself blameless … The LORD my God illumines my darkness. (Psalm 18:25-28)

When I was a teenager – and I still remember this moment like it was yesterday – I was beginning to learn what it meant to be a serious follower of Christ. Having come from a period of teenage rebellion against God and church, I was getting into his word and seeking to follow him daily. But I was also beginning to be just a bit judgmental toward those friends of mine who were not as serious as I was.

It was the New Testament rephrasing of the Psalm 18 passage above that God used to get my attention: “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15). I realized that my judgmental attitude toward others was simply coming from a defiled heart and a guilty conscience.

To those who walk with God, whose hearts are humble, who let him light their path, they see everything in the shade of grace. Grace covers everything in their life and in the lives of others. It is not that they cannot tell the difference between good and bad, or between good people and bad people. They understand both the righteousness of God and the unrighteousness of the world. But it is the righteousness, love, and grace of God that reinterprets everything else around them.

And the critical person, the judgmental person, the one who only has negative things to say about the world, who can always think of an unkind remark to make about any person – that person will have allowed the impurity of their own soul to color everything else, and everyone else.

I spoke with someone the other day comparing the the symptoms of our migraine headaches. He had a strange reaction that reconfigured how he saw light, where everything was suddenly much, much brighter – not an unusual migraine aura. Unfortunately it was merely a warning to him that a migraine was about to strike.

But it was in his brain that the difference was experienced. The light itself had not changed and become brighter, rather his brain re-interpreted the light. Though his experience brought pain, I thought that something similar should happen in the heart of every Christian that should bring joy and peace. The grace of God and the peace of God enables us to see everyone from a different point of view, in a different light.

Paul wrote, “From now on we recognize no one according to the flesh … if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come!” (2 Cor. 5:16-17) We have a choice: we may either let the grace and peace of God purify our hearts and then through this new blood bought purity see everybody else, which will result in hope, peace, love, and joy, or we can hold on to impurity and we will see everyone’s faults and live in absolute misery.

Do you want to know God as the merciful, kind, loving heavenly Father he is? Do you want to see others in light of their potential in Christ? Do you want to live in the reality of the grace and love of God daily? Then it is simple. Walk daily confessing your sins and thank God for his grace. Embrace the reality of his love through faith, and let this lens of the Word and of the Spirit be what reinterprets God and the whole world around you.

You will be happier, and so will everyone you touch.

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