For a time, before Mom would offer correction or voice a concern, she could be heard saying, "Point one finger at you and three back at me." She didn't want the person she was correcting to ever get the impression that she considered herself to be in any way better than they were. It seemed to be in her nature to always consider how best to say something without being hurtful. I hope I got that gene, because some may feel I am going to step on some toes. I have been pondering this subject for awhile now though and think I am supposed to bring it up. And for the record, I am speaking to believers this day.
It's not my plan to "preach" on the importance of pointing out someone else's sin. But that word, gently, certainly fits in with my Mom memory, doesn't it? If it's got to be done, that's certainly the best way to broach the subject. But it's the last sentence that I can't get off my mind these past days; especially those first two words. "Watch yourselves," Paul said.
It should be a no-brainer that we are to be ready to withstand the temptations of sin. I speak from experience when I say the tighter you are hanging on to the promises of God, the easier it gets to stand strong. By the way, I'm sure that ol' devil gets a special thrill out of tripping us up after we've called someone out! If he can get us to stumble and fall then, he has opportunity to throw doubt into the minds of those we were trying to help. And believe me when I say he will hunker down and prepare to sink in his teeth! (The prowling lion waiting to devour. ~1 Peter 5:8)
Pardon me for a moment. I must interrupt myself: Mel Gibson, you have popped into my mind every time I have thought about how to broach this subject of being taken down. Such a great and mighty thing you did for God! For mankind! Ah, the thrill of knowing you were answering His call on your life pulsing through your veins! It is a current flowing like none other, isn't it? It truly became your passion to show us His. Thank you.
I have no doubt Satan pulled out all the stops to take you down. It saddened me when troubled days fell upon you. I am sure I was not the only one praying for you during those difficult days. Instead of judging you, some were carrying your burden with you. Or at least trying to ease the weight you carried by lifting you up in prayer. Hoping God would hold you close and reach out to you in no uncertain terms. I still pray for you every time I think of you. The battle is real and as ongoing as we let it be. (Pointing those three fingers back at me! I have done a bit of stumbling along the way.) I hope those dark days are far behind you. I hope you have reconnected to the living current of the Holy Spirit and are shining ever brighter for those around you to see. It seems the media only wants to feed on the pain and suffering of those in the limelight so no news is good news as far as I'm concerned. ☺
And now the segue to getting back on track... 😉 I know the odds that Mel Gibson will actually read that are... Oh, I don't know... can odds be zero - zero? That'd be ok by me because odds don't matter one iota in my book. I don't find them in His either. I do find verse after verse that tells me God loves me and if I put my trust and hope in Him that He will not disappoint. I find verses that tell me of Jesus' great love for us and that if I ask Him to become my Savior, from that point on I will be able to do all things through Him. First and foremost being reconciled to God. When I believe these things with all my heart and see the hard thing through to the end, I am stronger for it. The battle will be easier next time. I have eased on down that road of faith. You can, too. It will get easier to withstand temptation and the bad things that happen in life. And along the way your personal relationship will grow stronger.
Stronger - Mandisa
I have no doubt that if God plans for Mel Gibson to read my thoughts, it will end up right in front of him! (Perhaps I could try labeling this post with his name and should he ever google Mel Gibson and frog, maybe? Baha! As if those words will ever come together in a sentence!) But even if that is never the case, I believe God wanted me to say it so somebody who feels they have walked a similar path can read this and realize the same applies. If that is you, I will bear your burden through lifting you up in prayer. Hoping you will feel the powerful surge of reconnection and will shine brighter because of it!
Was I led by God to go ahead and tell Mel my thoughts? I think I must have been, but I won't know for sure until I stand before Him one day. Would some say, "Well, of course not! Why would God deliver some love to him through you?" Yes, I think some would.
That thought brings me right back to the topic I was going to post today. And I just laughed out loud when I realized it! God does work in mysterious ways and I am glad He cleared my path! I have been asking how I was supposed to get the point across without revealing the circumstances that put this thought for a post in my head. I wasn't going to use names, of course, but I live in Small Town, USA. And, of course, we have Facebook... I wasn't sure I could be generic enough, but it was the only thing I could come up with besides the Mel Gibson thing popping in my head and wondering how he's doing and uttering my little hope he's reconnected and standing strong prayer. I didn't think he was actually going to wind up getting a mention! I should have known God had it covered.
What? You think God did not inspire these words? Watch yourself! That's really not your call. No matter how long we've been walking with God, we just aren't privy to the big picture. And because w are not to know, we certainly have to be careful not to fall prey to the mindset that how we answer God's call is the way everyone is supposed to answer God's call. He made us unique for a reason, people. One size does not fit all! There are as many ways to reach out as their are people on this earth because it is God's hope that none should perish. He has a plan in place to give us all a chance for salvation through Jesus. That plan's success has a lot to do with us, Christians. We have been called to run a good race. Don't get tripped up.
Instead of doubting if someone is "doing it right" regarding their witness for Christ, try on their shoes for a minute. Better yet, carry his burden until you wear holes in the soles of your shoes instead of expecting him to wear yours. And in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. You will show and share His love.
Can we pray?
Thank You for loving us no matter what. Thank You for guiding us each one in the way You would have us go. I pray our hearts and minds will be open so we hear you clearly.
I ask that you speak to the hearts of those who have taken a fall; draw them ever close. Let them yearn to be a shining example of You and Your ways. Let us, all, yearn for that!
Help us remember Your ways are not our ways. You have a plan and we will trust You to carry it out. Help us lift each other up in prayer and help and love one another.
At all times, let us praise your mighty name and rejoice in the knowledge that You are. I ask these things in Jesus name.
As always, comments are welcome. Or pop over to the Facebook page and leave one there.
See you next time.
Video (Mandisa - Stronger) Courtesy: Youtube
Photos courtesy: www.freedigitalimage.net