Some sermons resonate and some pass over the heads of those with closed ears, hearts, or just full minds. I have experienced both.
Two days ago, the sermon at Northside Christian Church in Springfield, Missouri, was a fiery testament about judgement. It hit me between my own plank- infused eyes. And I know it must have landed squarely with others as well…
I judged my friend for her small betrayal, when forgetting altogether about the knife still stuck in her back from years of pain I carelessly tossed into the abyss of unrepentant sins.
I judged my colleague for not caring about my struggles, when I saw, in the mirror, a careless friend in myself. When did I invest in others that which I expect of them?
I judged my child for unapologetic disrespect. Yet, I sadly realized, he learned this behavior from his mother. From me.
I judged a younger generation for showing signs of gross entitlement. Yet, I failed to see the lack of civility and community engagement my own generation put forth.
I judged my leaders for laws and statutes infringing upon my very beliefs. How seamlessly I ignored the beliefs of others.
I judged myself for past sins long ago forgiven; when current sins, struggles, and thorns of my flesh daily persist and continue unchecked.
I blamed my Heavenly Father, for breaking my heart, when I believed He could have changed the outcome. Now I know, He didn’t break my heart. He sat with me through the pain. He patiently waited for me to seek His comfort. He stitched up the pieces of my brokenness and made me whole again. My God never broke my heart. Rather, He used the world’s brokenness to heal my sin, my shame, my unmet expectations, and my pain. He lovingly, protectively, and irrevocably used my broken, splintered, imperfect path to connect a journey straight to Him.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)
It is not until we face our own demons that we can begin to love like Christ those souls strategically placed on our very path, for the sole purpose of leading them to Him. Or, perhaps, THEM leading US to a Lord we thought we knew years ago, but have yet to meet personally, at the foot of His very divine humanness, glorified resurrection, and intimate daily relationship.