Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be
an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love,
your faith, and your purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 NLT)
How many times have you been judged based on your
appearance? I know I have been given the ‘once over’ many times based on
the way I look. I’m 38 but I look younger (or so I like to think), I have a
pierced nose and many tattoos; this can cause people to give me ‘that’ look. I’m
a big hearted person with my heart on my sleeve, so when I see someone snubbing me, I take it personally,
instead of taking it as Jesus told us.
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you
will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the
standard by which you will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1-2 NLT)
Now my husband, who gets that ‘look’ by others quite often ,
tells me not to worry about it and he lets it roll right off of him without a
second thought. Yet when this happens to
me, I lie awake at night thinking about what was said or should have been said
and letting the situation eat at me. I’ve
learned this is just another trick of the enemy.
The devil tricks us by moving our focus from God and onto an
offense. That offense that we have been dwelling on, has given ourselves over
to sin, and usually we don’t even realize that because we feel justified since we
were ‘wronged’. But Jesus told us, that
we are to forgive someone when they sin against us, ALWAYS.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I
forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times, “Jesus replied, “but
seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22NLT)
Ouch!! Lesson #1: Forgive, forgive, forgive and keep forgiving!! I’ve learned that people (regardless if they
are Believers or not) will make mistakes and judge others. So when this happens to us, we don’t need to
take offense, we need to forgive them!
And now that we've forgiven them, we can start blessing them...what!?! I know forgiving them was big, but now we also need to bless them, because that's what Jesus said.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and
hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute
you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven…”
(Matthew 5:43-45 NLT)
Lesson #2: Bless your enemy. Yes this is
going to take some practice (and in my case, a lot of practice!) Walking the talk is more than just saying we are Believers and followers of Christ, it means putting the scripture in action. It's not an overnight transformation, the renewing of our minds (renewing of our thoughts, actions and reactions) takes time.
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)
There is comfort in knowing that when we continue to put God’s Word in us and make
an effort to practice the scripture's teachings; that over time, what once was awkward and difficult, can become effortless and natural, because with God’s help, we can do this!!
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me
strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)