Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Lord Have Mercy

"When we discern that people are not going along spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede." - Oswald Chambers

It happens sometimes without our even realizing it.

A person we know, we relate to, we care about - comes to an opinion or position that immediately leads us to believe that all is not right between them and God. And lets say, for the sake of my proposal, that their opinion or position conflicts with our own settled facts about the matter.

"Well," we say to ourselves (at least until we can get to Facebook to write some subtle dig, rant, or other "instructive" post that casts us in the very best light and them in shadow), "hopefully God will  convict them of their sin."


I seem to recall an event where a rich and religiously well connected man, and an outcast of a collaborator both come to pray. One takes the time to remind God what a great catch He made when He convinced Mr. Piousity to come on board. The other, shaking as he cried, knowing his sins were as scarlet, and his life itself unworthy, said this, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Jesus, who knew sinners and religious people well, and tended to hang out with the sinners, pointed to the outcast as the one who went away justified.

Friend, you and I cannot walk away justified from a categorization of anyone as a sinner. What we can do if we are led to believe another is walking the wrong direction is pray for them, What we can do is love them. What we can do is live our lives as proof that even a sinner like us can find hope and redemption in Jesus.

Now who are you going to pray for? That is after that "Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner" part.

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