So, I’ve been working through an anger management workbook, attempting to learn some stuff. I came upon a chapter today that was dealing with inferiority feelings that often fuel anger. The positive challenge of the chapter is to relate to others as equals neither elevating myself above them nor accepting a position of inferiority. The guy who wrote the book must have been reading my emails because the chapter described me pretty well. I got some good information from the chapter and because it hit so close to home, I went in our guest room and knelt down and asked the Lord to help me stop being so critical of other people. That was that. I went to get a shower and to get ready for work when my mind was hijacked. I really believe this is the Lord talking to me because it is like the train of thoughts is foreign to my thinking and takes me places I never thought about going. So, follow my thoughts with me. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus taught the religious people of the day that hating someone was basically like murdering them in your heart. He also said looking for the purpose of lusting is like committing adultery in your heart. I hear in my head, "You have taught that hating and murder are both sins, just the real act has more severe consequences. Lusting and adultery are both sins but the act has more severe consequences than the thought. The One controlling my thoughts challenged me on this and I heard, "The only difference is the internal act is easier to cover." In my mind’s eye I had a picture of me on a stage seated in front of all my family, friends, and acquaintences and the Lord says, okay Scott, I want you to tell everyone here every ugly thought, every judgmental thing you’ve said or felt toward any and all of them. Hold nothing back, don’t soften anything. Then He said, now, tell all these people every lustful thought, everyone in the room you’ve thought about in some sexual way, that’s it pull the covers off all of it and put it on the table. The full truth and nothing but the truth." I’m not even going to consider all the times I put other things or people in God’s rightful place or a whole host of other things that could be evaluated in this same way. Jeremiah the prophet said the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it! He was right.
I’ve thought about that all day. I’ve thought about how hurtful, down right devastating that would be for very many people and how terribly humiliating it would be for me. The Lord answered my prayer quickly this morning. I have wondered all day in the light of my thoughts how could I ever judge another human being! In case your not really up on the Bible, it actually teaches in Hebrews 4:12 and following, it is like we are turned inside out before Him, He sees us like open books and He is the one we have to answer to. The next time I feel some judgment rising inside me, I hope I’m reminded of this scene, and humble myself knowing how I judge others will be how I am judged. Really then the ground is level at the foot of the cross!