children of light

Posted: March 16th, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 17 Comments »

Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. -2 Corinthians 5:10

How often do you read scripture or hear preaching that makes you think of someone besides yourself? It’s normal to feel a sense of vengeance when you consider that the actions of others, actions you’ve deemed sinful, will be judged by God.

It’s hard not to want the people who have hurt you to pay. You want people to know how they’ve made you doubt, how they’ve made you insecure, how they’ve made you feel like you didn’t exist. You want them to feel bad. Really bad, like the way stern disapproval from God would feel.

Fantasizing about a day of judgment when they can finally see everything the way it is and not the way they think it is.

The problem with this mental trap is when you fail to see how you’ve dumped your own poison to the pot. Sitting in opposition to another is never a clear cut division. If you have sides in an argument, sides as a result of sin fallout, then you know you’re doing something wrong. It’s hard to see how your hard heart toward another is wrong when you feel like you’re right.

‘Tolerating a wrong attitude toward another person causes you to follow the spirit of the devil, no matter how saintly you are. One carnal judgment of another person only serves the purposes of hell in you.” -Oswald Chambers

Stop focusing on what others are doing wrong. When it all comes out, it will be bad enough, don’t make it worse. Your grudges and lists make you look bad, not them. Don’t buy in to the religious fantasy that you understand God and all the dark threads He weaves into your life. You have no idea what He’s doing.

If you’ve ever been misunderstood or misjudged, then you can be assured you have misunderstood and misjudged others. Focus on your own need for Jesus and leave the speck in your friends’ eye to the One who can see it clearly. God doesn’t use a soft light when He’s setting things right. No one can pass muster.

Woe to all of you who want God’s Judgment Day! Why would you want to see God, want him to come? When God comes, it will be bad news before it’s good news, the worst of times, not the best of times… At God’s coming we face hard reality, not fantasy—a black cloud with no silver lining. -Amos 5:18-20

If Jesus is real, then live like it. You represent Him, not your standard for Christian living. Don’t make a list of Christian behaviors to check off during the day.

(Read Bible? Check. Pray? Check. Smile a lot? Check. Witness to sinners? Check. Ask for forgiveness for speeding? Check. Ask for forgiveness for honking at the idiot in front of me? Check. Congratulate myself for not becoming prideful of my ability to submit my sins to Jesus as they happen? check. Speak ‘truth in love’ to the smokers out in the parking lot? Check. Speak ‘truth in love’ to the fellow Christian who didn’t pray over her lunch? Check. Look for opportunities to speak more ‘truth in love’, find more sinners and ask for more forgiveness? Check.)

If you really have a grasp on what Jesus did and what it means, you wouldn’t be so obsessed and uptight about the morality of self and others. If you really ‘walked in the light’ of truth, you would be embracing others, thorns and all. You respond to others the way Jesus responds to you. If you’re not getting scratched and dirty, then you’ve got the wrong Jesus on your dashboard.

‘For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person.’ –Oswald Chambers

But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin. -1 John 1:6

“As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.” -John 12:36


17 Comments on “children of light”

  1. 1 Serena Woods said at 1:51 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    I guess I should google those things.

    It's kind of funny because someone will read one of my blogs and call me a Calivinist. Someone else will read and call me 'reformed', Baptist, Emergent… I don't really care about labels because I don't have an agenda other than teaching grace. I just read my Bible at home and write what I see. I think somewhere along the line, my view will intersect with some of these things, but I don't know enough about any of them to call myself one.

    I was coming home from a Bible Study I was teaching and I was praying. Someone at my Bible Study was having a hard time grasping what I was teaching because it was a departure from how she was raised. I asked God what to do, because obviously, I want people to get it, and His instruction was simple: 'Don't apologize for me.'

  2. 2 Lindsey @ A New Life said at 2:46 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    "Fantasizing about a day of judgment when they can finally see everything the way it is and not the way they think it is."


    In a good way.

    Love you,


  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 2:51 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    and i, you. 🙂

  4. 4 Julie Downing said at 3:00 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    I used to be a labeler – it's very exhausting! I still catch myself doing it sometimes – the ugly legalist rears its' head every now and then – and that is why I am so grateful for the Grace of God. Keep teaching just the way you are, for you are touching hearts and transforming the way some of us think.

  5. 5 Serena Woods said at 3:10 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    Yes, Julie, labels cause people to make their performance true to them. I believe that I haven't 'arrived' so, I don't want to anchor in anything but scripture.

  6. 6 Cindy Green said at 3:33 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    We really need to start listing the fruit one is producing in their lives and drop the labels which is really just name calling. Serena is producing grace and alot of forgiveness..

  7. 7 Jen said at 4:02 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    "If you really have a grasp on what Jesus did and what it means, you wouldn’t be so obsessed and uptight about the morality of self and others."

    Or with trying to put a label on someone so that you can judge them accordingly. 😉

    This is so good, Serena. And convicting. I love your writing and am always challenged. I don't care what it sounds like, it's scripturally solid. So preach it sister! I can't wait to have the opportunity to hear you speak!!

  8. 8 Serena Woods said at 4:05 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    cindy: 🙂

    Thanks, Jen. I don't know where you are, but I'll be in Osage Beach, MO next week. 🙂

  9. 9 Brooke Luby said at 4:05 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    Another great post. I am amazed the more we understand how much grace there is, the more we can give it it not just to others, but to ourselves. Sometimes, that's harder.

  10. 10 Serena Woods said at 4:10 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    Thanks, Brooke.

    I think that when we don't understand the full reality of grace, we're still able to show characteristics of it. The problem is, grace toward others is determined by our capacity for pain. Small things are forgiven easily and larger things take more time.

    The true barometer for grace is when you have to offer it to yourself. Our pride is the biggest obstacle. Those who can't offer grace to themselves need to seriously look at what they believe.

  11. 11 Theresa said at 5:06 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    I wrote a little about this on my blog last week.

    The hurts we went through and watched others go through were hard. They were real and raw but I'm so thankful for the grace of God and His love for me. He needs me. He needs me to be in a place of relationship with Him where I can walk through something like we did and fully trust Him. To be able to lay aside all of the junk and allow Him to shine the light of Truth into our own lives. He's bringing me through not just for my benefit but because through His strength, His mercy and grace I will have something to share with those coming behind.

    Thanks for sharing Serena, for being one before me.

  12. 12 Lindsey @ A New Life said at 5:19 pm on March 16th, 2010:


    I'm back because this is making me think that some of the worst labeling we can do is to ourselves, about ourselves.

    You know, when we are refusing to climb out of our pit and continuing to define ourselves by what the world sees us as or what Satan is convincing us we are.

    Not that I have been there, or anything 😉

  13. 13 Karen said at 5:57 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    So much Truth to this. Serena, you don't take it easy on your message and there are a lot of people who are grateful. People will be uncomfortable, they'll feel convicted, they'll want an excuse to excuse you, but girl you're on to something and God is using you to change a lot of lives. You haven't even scratched the surface of your purpose.

    Keep at it, Serena!!

  14. 14 dana said at 6:21 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    Like the Oswald Chambers quote and scripture. I’ve been reading a lot of your blog, though and it sounds a bit like Postmodernism and the Emergent Church movement.

  15. 15 Serena Woods said at 7:26 pm on March 16th, 2010:

    Thanks, Karen. 🙂

  16. 16 StacyK said at 5:04 am on March 17th, 2010:

    you just ripped the curtain off of my heart and aired my dirty laundry.

    i'm still repeating the line from two posts ago "when you metion sin, you have to mention grace"

    this post… i need to read again. and again. and again.

    thank you.

    tears streaming down in gratefulness,

    i adore you

  17. 17 Julie said at 6:33 am on March 17th, 2010:

    I agree with the poster who said they are still chewing on mentioning sin and grace in the same thought…that was a wonderful process to insert into my brain function, and right behind that comes the left hook to my sanctimonious righteousness…if I am longing for God's judgment on anyone because of their wrongs against me then I am NOT adhering to the true message of grace. I want grace for me, but if I also wish to withhold it from someone who has wronged me…this serves only to cut off the grace granted to me… wow…. Serena this was awesome and I truly needed it…

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