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17 November, 2014

Self Righteous Judgment vs Righteous Judgement!

When I was younger in the faith and since I had no idea what it meant to walk in the Spirit, I kept going around being myself. I was judged harshly. But, although these people were judging my behaviour, i.e I laughed too hard, not “compose” enough, not good being divorce and single in the Church, etc. I don’t know how to explain it, but there was something about me that God must have put there to help me see that they were judging me to either feel better about themselves. The older Christians judged because they were so settled in their ways they took their interpretation of the word of God for being right, as such I was wrong in their sight. Somehow, even though I had great respect for my elders, teachers, and all who decided to lead me. Strangely, I knew in my heart that the majority of them were no different from the unbelievers I was dealing with at work. I knew it was mainly external and that they have learned to control their behavior. Someone even said to me, “When you are here or in any Christian functions, remember, people are watching” This came from someone who wanted to be friend with me and knew how much people were talking about me behind my back.

Because this person was a Christian much longer than I, and was respected by the leaders, I took the advice with humility, promising to try harder. As time went by, I realized, the difference between me and majority of my brothers and sisters in my Church were that I stood out, because of my refusal to wear a mask. It was important to me not to wear a mask when I was in the Church, because I felt, if I had to wear one among them, then what was the point of being Christian to begin with?  To me, it was like being in a hospital and acting as if you are not sick and in no need for a doctor.  

I was never bitter about it, but in my heart, I was hurt to see that I was judged so harshly, while I was really no different than those who were doing the judging. This went on for years, until I grew so dissatisfied with the kind of Christianity in all my surroundings, then I went directly to God, complained my heart out to Him, accusing Him of lying about Christianity and putting the bar so high that no one can reach it. (Funny how I was still making excuses for them) After I finished complaining, the Holy Spirit said sternly, “why don’t you surrender to me” I sort of stop and remain quiet just to make sure that I heard what I heard. He said again “surrender to me”. I finished my prayer time totally unsatisfied, at the same time, I was aware of something that somehow I felt in my heart, I did not want.

The point of this post is this, as Christians, when we are judged harshly we have a choice to make. We can harbour resentment against those who are judging us unfairly in their self-righteousness. We can retaliate, we can become bitter, let anger direct us, we can become arrogant and be as self-righteous as them or we can take it all in and go humbly to God with it.  What these people did not know about me is that deep inside, I knew I was not good, and I was craving to be like Christ. Because I did not have spiritual knowledge of the word of God and because I did not know Him yet, I did not understand that my craving was because I wanted to be like Him. I kept thinking that I wanted to be like our forefathers in the Bible who walked with Him. I could see there was a difference and I wanted that for me. So, even though I was hurt, but I focussed mainly on Christ without knowing it was the right attitude and response.  Remember, I was a babe in the faith and so stupid and clueless that I was cute. 

Years after that, God showed me how the majority of people in the Church, from top to bottom, are a perfect example of the Pharisees. He showed me how they have learned to interpret the word of God to coincide with their own prejudices.  It was as if the Church was a theater and everybody was in character playing a role where they were bad at it, but they did not know because the critics were not out yet. It was cold and unrighteous. Yet, in appearance, that was not the Church I knew, in fact people love this Church because it seems to be so good externally, and so on fire for God. He showed me the lack of the Holy Spirit leading and so much more that I was overwhelmed. At times, I felt, I could live this life without ever knowing those things. Furthermore, I kept feeling that I was not worthy of all those revelations about people who outranked me and their businesses.  But, while He started revealing the disobedience of my Church, He did not stop there. It was like teaching me how to diagnose the state of His Salvation, His plan and His Church, throughout the body of Christ, in North America, through His eyes.

The worst part of my training was when He decided to reveal His heart to me and how He is lamenting over His Church. There are no words to describe God’s lament for us. Here is how stupid I am, when I first experienced God wailing for the Church and wailing for what we have made of Salvation. I do not want to go through the whole thing with you because it is something between me and God and also too painful and hard to relieve out again. But when all was said and done and I was back to being myself, I first realized that I would never want to be amongst those people causing Him so much pain. So I made it a point that His purpose for my life, will be my purpose and nothing else would do. But I asked myself, why does He allow us to have so much power over Him? Since He is God, why doesn't He remove this part of Him that cause Him pain? I have grown so much more since that time and I know that God is God and feeling the pain for us is part of Him and cannot be removed. That in itself was a big lesson with Him where I learned to understand why God felt anger, love, wrath, mercy, and so on. They are all part of His holiness.

For few years in the wilderness, that’s what my education was based on. I came out with some big things that I learned. One, God does not wait to judge us with the same measure He promised we would be judged when we are hypocrites and self-righteous. He starts right here with those who are following Him wholeheartedly.  I bet you these people never thought for a moment that God would pronounce judgement on them, and use them to teach me about His Church lacking “Christ and the Holy Spirit” in everything. Secondly, when you are judged in any shape or form, whether it is righteous judgment or in self-righteousness, learn to recognize that God can use even unbelievers to teach you something about yourself. So, instead of digging your heels in who you are, until you become set in your ways that even the Holy Spirit could not make you budge, go to Him directly.  Do not lash out and resist the temptation to reciprocate while you are hurting. I was too stupid about the word of God and lack knowledge to pass judgment on the people judging me and I was not malicious enough to use the information that I knew about them wearing masks and controlling their behavior through the flesh. It turns out that God was training me through the gift of wisdom and godly discernment. The third thing I learned from this training, is that God was preparing me for my ministry, but in those days, I had no idea how to walk with God, let alone thinking that was a preparation for His purpose for me. You see, Ministry is not something that we do, but something that we are on the inside before it becomes external.

Another thing that I did not know is that, when we are self-righteous in the Church, most of us tend to see it as “our business.”  God revealed to me, that, it was not my business or their business, but our self-righteousness is “His business” so He can train anyone He wants to teach them “righteous judgment” to put their noses in God’s business and shake us out of our lethargy. I also learned that we might be on fire with our emotions for God, but spiritually speaking, lethargic. (Just like Paul used to be or the Pharisees). After all this training, I had no idea what to do with it and I even asked Him how He planned to use someone as stupid as me? At one point, I dreamed that He would change me overnight and make me someone eloquent and educated, which was my desires, not His. Instead, He told me He will not give me those desires of my heart because they were in the flesh, however He gave me the gift of boldness. I’ll tell you, if you knew me before, you would understand why the gift of boldness hit me like a bulldozer one day. That was 2012, when I started blogging. It has been quite a ride with God in teaching me how to let Him use me. In righteous judgment, we need to be right with God first, He trains us, and teaches us how to discern and give us the wisdom needed as He uses us. Mainly, we need to keep walking and living in the Spirit so that we do not judge others through our eyes and prejudices, but through His eyes alone.
 I will not split this post into two parts, however, I will not blog tomorrow to give you time to read.
In His Agape Love,