Friday, December 12, 2008

Advent Reflections

December 12th

“ Do not judge…” Luke 6:37

God has placed a new word in my heart as he has used the painful personal struggle of someone dear to me to blow away my bigotry. That word is tolerance. The Webster’s Dictionary defines this word as forbearance in judging the opinions, customs, or acts of others, freedom from racial or religious prejudices.
The heart of judgment is pride. In judging others we conveniently avoid looking at our own sin, and lie to ourselves that we are better than those we choose to judge. Jesus spoke for us to remove the log in our own eye before removing the speck in our brother’s. We can easily be called modern day Pharisees as we use the scriptures to lay heavy burdens on the shoulders of men and women who cannot bear the weight.
Forbearance reminds me of the fruit of the spirit called longsuffering. All who follow Jesus should have this quality, but in the modern day Christian world it appears to be lacking. It is easier to point the finger at others and write them off than to disciple them and help carry their burdens to the cross.
My journey to get to this place of tolerance has not been pretty. I carried plenty of religious pride within me. Little by little God humbled me. I am eternally grateful He has opened my eyes.
The angels in the Christmas story appeared to shepherds, not to the religious leaders of the day. Let’s learn from this example and quit assuming God only calls certain types of people. Let us embrace all people in His name. This will transform our world.

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