Friday, February 8, 2008

She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain

I was thinking of some of the obstacles and challenges that I face. I mean, in this life we all have difficulties. Right?

Well, I got to thinking... (dangerous, I know)

There are definitely mountains that I must climb to overcome issues. But not every problem, every situation demands that. At times, I can be so driven to reach a goal, finish a task or solve a situation... that I start doggedly hiking up the mountain. Sure there are some mountains that require me to grab my climbing gear (faith, hope and perseverance) and do the work of reaching the summit. But there are times, that I should simply go around.

Just like the football receiver running the ball......... I should feint to the left or right, without breaking stride. There are some problems that really have no solution, and in fact are only there to distract me. The problem may never go away......or may persist for a season, but that doesn't mean that I cannot find a way around it. ..Find another means of success.... find an alternate path.

Joseph took Mary and baby Jesus away to another land. He avoided obstacles and traps. But our Lord returned to the land after the season had passed.

So, my new prayer is that the Lord show me those mountains to climb with His strength and give me wisdom to go around those that serve only to slow me down or distract me.

The Righteously Moral Olympics

The Righteously Moral Olympics

I deal with sin in my life far more often than many might think a Christian would. Shocked? Don't be.

I am by the grace of God, quite a changed woman from where I started when I first came to the foot of the cross. But by no means, am I sinless.

The last week has given me an insight into Our Father's love, grace and mercy. It has also given me the opportunity to be His arms of grace and love and mercy. People need love, not condemnation.

Sin is ugly. That cannot be denied. But when a child of God is convicted, repents and resolves to make amends….. We must yield to the Father's blessing.

The title of this entry is a sarcastic nod to the attitudes swirling in many congregations within the Church.

I wonder if some folks knew of some of the debased, sinful things in my past…….. if they would ostracize me? I'm talking of sins that did not offend them. Meaning, they were not affected. Would they help me to walk in the hard won, soul wrenching forgiveness found in Jesus? Would they doubt my sincerity and demand proof? Would they ask for a public confession?

Why would they feel the right to do that?

The bible says that when a brother sins against you, to take it to the person directly:

Matthew 18: 15-16

15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

However, if the person does not sin against you personally, has repented, received pastoral counseling with guidance towards healing………. Who are we to remain offended? This is NOT a case where Matthew 18 should be applied. Restoration should be the goal.

Again, it isn't the morality Olympics. We are all sinners saved by grace. A young Christian will undoubtedly need more grace, as they strive to heed the Holy Spirit……. And when they feel the bone aching remorse, leading to confession and repentance. What that person needs is edification.

Edification doesn't negate the sin. It does however promote healing and gives strength to persevere the consequences. It gives flesh and blood to forgiveness.

We must be careful to remember that it is the sin that offends. Not the person…not after they have been restored in Christ.

Brothers and sisters, we need to stop shooting our wounded. We need to help them to the Cross, and pray for them.

It isn't about us. It is about their relationship with the Father.

John 8:7

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.