verdict for verdict

Posted: October 21st, 2009 | Filed under: God, life | Tags: | 6 Comments »

So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. -Romans 14:10

Judgement is a word I’ve grown an allergy to. You can’t even call someone ‘judgmental’ without being judgmental. When you hear the Gospel taught, don’t bypass the beauty of grace and mercy by going directly to others who aren’t giving what only Jesus could perfectly give.

We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life. -James 3:2 MSG

We all stumble in many ways…. -James 3:2 (partial) NIV

We’re human beings who do the best we can in any given situation. We hold Christians to a separate standard than everybody else while telling them that they are no better than anybody else. We demand that they know every aspect of the Bible while looking to them to teach us, also ‘Christians’, every aspect of the Bible.

Human beings will let you down. They’ll hurt you and they’ll get it wrong. If you’re looking for something else, then you’re going to grow in bitterness and resentment. If you’re going to point out an error, you better be prepared to be part of the solution.

‘This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom the scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else?’ -Romans 3:19-20

When you hear a sermon or read a Biblical teaching, you need to hear it as though it was for you, not for somebody else. We are all guilty and we are all blinded to our own fault. It’s a condition of being human. We are part of a system, not individual selves forced to work together. If someone is lacking, it’s up to you to make the difference. We all play the role of outsider to the Truth. We all experience what it means to need grace. You can’t demand it while hoarding it. We need to release the pain and rejection so that we don’t cause the same.

‘In one way or another, God makes sure we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.’ -Romans 11:32

Even if people will never deserve your mercy, love or grace, it’s not up to you to decide. The only way to keep yourself on the winning team is to give it freely and let God turn it into hot coals or spiritual life. You’re a servant, a slave to grace. Letting that go to your head is like walking out on the only thing that makes you okay and locking yourself out. You’ll soon enough find yourself being what you’ve accused others of being and needing them to be what you were incapable of being.

Grace is not a safe place to come and not show grace to those who don’t show grace to you. I didn’t write a book about being a disgruntled Church goer. I wrote a book about how we all get it wrong and the only way we can fix it is to show love, grace and mercy to everybody. This is not a point of division. This is a place to join efforts in becoming part of a solution. We can’t make the mistake of hearing sermons, reading scriptures or Bible studies and constantly think of everybody else that needs to hear this, if you’re reading or hearing, then it’s for you.

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. -Romans 14:1

read all of Romans 14, it’s good stuff.


6 Comments on “verdict for verdict”

  1. 1 Reborn said at 5:46 am on October 21st, 2009:

    "We can’t make the mistake of hearing sermons, reading scriptures or Bible studies and constantly think of everybody else that needs to hear this, if you’re reading or hearing, then it’s for you."

    Love it!! Thank you for always telling it like it is, Serena! I love your spirit.

    This is for me!


  2. 2 April said at 5:54 am on October 21st, 2009:

    Guilty. I am so guilty of finding myself being what I've accused others of being and needing them to be what you were incapable of being. guilty.

    I do love when I finally say to God, "I do not have a clue how to give grace, Lord. Please take over for me, I am tired. I am failing miserably. I am nothing. Without you, God. Nothing." And he takes over. I have found myself in situations where I know without a shadow of a doubt that it was my Savior either shutting my mouth at the perfect time, or giving me the sweet words of acceptance. Amazing. God is amazing.

  3. 3 Monica said at 6:38 am on October 21st, 2009:

    It is dangerous to constantly point fingers at others rather than taking a look at your own failings. I try to think of myself rather than others when listening to a sermon or doing a Bible study. It needs to convict me rather than me convicting my friends or family members.

  4. 4 Sisterlisa said at 7:26 am on October 21st, 2009:


  5. 5 Muthering Heights said at 4:06 pm on October 21st, 2009:

    This post is so wonderfully to the point!

  6. 6 Sarah Mae said at 11:27 am on October 22nd, 2009:

    Oh Serena, it seems like such a paradox sometimes…grace/truth/law/liberty…

    Under grace, yet obey…

    Freedom, yet do not use to choose sin…

    Law of liberty, law is perfect and fulfilled…

    Love the Lord your God, love others…a summery of the 10 commandments

    Grace…so sweet, so covering…obedience…favor and blessing therein – glory to God!

    I love ya girl…can't wait to meet you!

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