Attitude of Heart

How many of us have made snap judgements?  Whenever you see someone on the side of the road with a sign and you think… I hope they don’t come up to me I don’t want to give them money because I don’t know what they will use it for.  Or you judge someone by what they have or don’t have or the way they look? I have done that more times than I can count.  I feel like sometimes we get so comfortable in our churches that we don’t want to have our apple cart upset and therefore don’t reach out to those who need us the most.

Do we speak in love to those who are on drugs and need deliverance?  Do we show love to those who don’t seem to know how to act in church?  Do we do what Jesus did and feed the hungry (w/o judging), help the needy, minister to those who are lonely and ostracized.

I find that it really speaks something about us when we think we have to protect what it is ours… our money, our spot, our whatever and we choose to judge others by what we see.  The Word tells us not to judge lest we be judged.

In James 2: 1-4 “believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.  If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

We are told that we should not claim to have faith if we show partiality for one person over another.  It also teaches that if we show mercy we will be shown mercy but if we do not we won’t have mercy shown to us by God.  We are supposed to be Jesus disciples.  We should do what Jesus did.

What did He do?  He loved the unlovable.  He provided for those without.  He ate and drank with ‘sinners’.  When the religious folk found out he was doing this they had a fit… who does He think He is?  Well, God actually.  He was sent to save everyone; the homeless person on the street, the drug addict, the prostitute, the ornery, the obnoxious, the one with no clothing.  He was also sent to save the wealthy and the middle class as well as the poor.  He was sent to save the widow and the orphan.

He wants us to show His love to all these people, even to our mortal enemies.  Jesus said Love your enemies, pray for those who curse you.  How are we to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world if we have a bad attitude about certain circumstances.  So many times we don’t realize that we are actually being unloving to those who are different because we are judging their actions.

I have read somewhere that we judge ourselves by our intentions and we judge others by their actions.  It matters not what they wear or what they do inside the church walls. I had a friend tell me that a woman who was possibly on drugs came to her church one day, slept on the back pew and then hugged her as she stood by the door before service was even over and walked out.  Many people could have told her not to sleep there, criticize her clothing or her lack of church etiquette.  However, my sister in Christ, was Jesus with skin on that day and hugged a lady I am sure not many would have hugged.  Who knows what brought her there that day.  That may have been the only safe place she had to sleep.

We show mercy and God’s love to others by putting feet to our intentions.  James goes on to tell us not to tell someone eat well and stay warm if we don’t give them food or warm clothing.  We must check our attitude at the door and adjust our halos.  None of us are perfect so we should not look down on others who are imperfect like us.  They just sin different than we do.  No sin is big or little, it is all the same. It all cost Jesus His life on Calvary.

Just because some sin is more visible than others does not mean we should judge that either.. do we want people in our closets?  Do we want people in our minds?  I think not.  We all sin whether others can tell or not and we all need God’s grace and mercy and forgiveness which He freely gives.

We should be willing to give that same grace, mercy and forgiveness to others.  Let’s check the attitude of our hearts and choose to ask for forgiveness when it has not been loving as it should and shown Christ to others.  This life is certainly not about us anyway, it is about Him and them.

Kelly Davis