Trials in our lives come in many shapes, sizes and severities. The type of trial in our lives can sometimes be so overwhelming to the soul that if not managed properly can turn our hearts toward bitterness, defeat, and death.
Starting this blog 2 years ago, it was an avenue to express myself during a trial of illness. It has been a wonderful way of expression and a way to reach out to others so that I can share my own experience in overcoming and accepting. My illness was only one of many trials I have had to overcome in my life and was certainly not the worst. With great encouragement I found that the Lord never left my side and I was confident of His presence over my life and that of my family. Just as He had in other, more devastating times. With the help of a handful of wonderful sisters in Christ I had fellowship, with the daily hands on help of my family I was cared for physically, and I was nourished daily in the Word by the faith that tenders my heart.
That being said, I was taken aback by an assumption made that I was in need of feeding due to my lack of faith and or doubts that my illness had provoked. What? Really? As I pondered this assumption by a loving soul, I began to pray about it and ask those closest to me at that time if that was truly what I had shown to others. Politely they replied the opposite, which then had me questioning myself and if I had been truly honest with my internal feelings. I had to take what was implied, consider what had been true to others who actually spent time with me during that time and take an observation of my own mind, heart and faith. The similarities of Job and his strength turning to doubt because of assumptions became very evident to me in a very short amount of time. Prayerfully with thanksgiving, I was reassured with my past prayer journaling and my blogging.
As the days passed in my dwelling on this, I began to make my own judgements and fell into sin making assumptions of someone else’s intentions, which I should not have. I began to pray over this and with great comfort felt convicted that the judgement someone placed over me helped me to realize that I too am capable of and do judge others. As that one conversation sparked a hurt in me, I began to consider others and judge them as I had been judged. It, in my mind, began to look like a merry go round without an end. The hurt I felt, was being passed on to others through my own judging. Not acceptable!
I feel that the privilege of knowing how I was perceived by someone outside of my caring few was that I was able to see myself pridefully begin to judge others as less than myself, including the person that made an inaccurate assumption about my own trial and my faith. Painful as it may sound, I see it as a blessing. I have thus been able to pray about it, repent for it, and pray for those who I have judged and for those who judge me. I also have had the blessing of wanting to do more to set an example that would glorify God in my healing and overcoming. For many do not know that which lies in my heart and that which the Lord has placed in my path. Just as sweetly as the Lord has guided me through, I pray that He will also guide those who struggle, not just with trials, yet also with doubt and sin.
I thank the Lord for this lesson, as sad as it made me feel. I consider it to be a blessing that I was shown my own sin through that which was presented by another.
In reading C.H. Surgeon – A Popular Exposition to the Gospel according to Matthew Chapter 7, I found my observation of such matters reassuring. That my own unpleasing thoughts were hypocritical and that which deserved to be repented for and dealt with.
Matthew 7:1-2. Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Use your judgment, of course: the verse implies that you will judge in a right sense. But do not indulge the criticizing faculty upon others in censorious manner, or as if you were set in authority, and had a right to dispense judgment among your fellows. If you impute motives, and pretend to read hearts, others will do the same towards you. A hard and censorious behaviour is sure to provoke reprisals. Those around you will pick up the peck measure you have been using, and measure your corn with it. You do not object to men forming a fair opinion of your character, neither are you forbidden to do the same towards them, but as you would object to their sitting in judgment upon you, do not sit in judgment upon them. This is not the day of judgment, neither are we his Majesty’s judges, and therefore we may not anticipate the time appointed for the final assize, nor usurp the prerogatives of the Judge of all the earth. Surely, if I know myself aright, I need not send my judgment upon circuit to try other men, for I can give it full occupation in my own Court of Conscience to try the traitors within my own bosom.
Matthew 7:3-5. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cut out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
The judging faculty is best employed at home. Our tendency is to spy out splinters in other men’s eyes, and not to see the beam in our own. Instead of beholding, with gratified gaze, the small fault of another, we should act reasonably if we penitently considered the greater fault of ourselves. It is the beam in our own eye which blinds us to our own wrong doing; but such blindness does not suffice to excuse us, since it evidently does not shut our eyes to the little error of our brother. Officiousness pretends to play the oculist; but in very truth it plays the fool. Fancy a man with a beam in his eye pretending to deal with so tender a part as the eye of another, and attempting to remove so tiny a thing as a mote or splinter! Is he not a hypocrite to pretend to be so concerned about other men’s eyes, and yet he never attends to his own? Jesus is gentle, but he calls that man a “hypocrite “ who fusses about small things in others and pays no attention to great matters at home in his own person. Our reformations must begin with ourselves, or they are not true, and do not spring from a right motive. Sin we may rebuke, but not if we indulge it. We may protest against evil, but not if we willfully practice it. The Pharisees were great at censuring, but slow at amending. Our Lord will not have his kingdom made up of hypocritical theorists, he calls for practical obedience to the rules of holiness. After we are ourselves sanctified, we are bound to be eyes to the blind, and correctors of unholy living; but not till then. Till we have personal piety, our preaching of godliness is sheer hypocrisy. May none of us provoke the Lord to say to us, “Thou hypocrite”!
Matthew 7:6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
When men are evidently unable to perceive the purity of a great truth, do not set it before them. They are like mere dogs, and if you set holy things before them they will be provoked to “turn again and rend you”: holy things are not for the profane. “Without are dogs”: they must not be allowed to enter the holy place. When you are in the midst of the vicious, who are like “swine,” do not bring forth the precious mysteries of the faith, for they will despise them, and “trample them under their feet” in the mire.
You are not needlessly to provoke attack upon yourself, or upon the higher truths of the gospel. You are not to judge, but you are not to act without judgment. Count not men to be dogs or swine; but when they avow themselves to be such, or by their conduct act as if they were such, do not put occasions in their way for displaying their evil character. Saints are not to be simpletons; they are not to be judges, but, also, they are not to be fools. Great King, how much wisdom thy precepts require! I need thee, not only to open my mouth, but also at times to keep it shut.
Prayer to remember: Great King, how much wisdom thy precepts require! I need thee, not only to open my mouth, but also at times to keep it shut.