I’ve reading through Proverbs right now on my journey through the Bible this year. There is such a wealth of knowledge and great direction in this book, it is impossible to actually take it all in. So I ask God to open my eyes and heart to what he is trying to teach me.
God regularly points out to me the Proverbs concerning righteousness.
Righteousness is an old-fashioned term that doesn’t seem to relate to my world today… until I remember it means ‘living right’. Doing the right things. Making the right decisions. Saying the right things.
How do I know what is right? God’s Word is right. It’s the truth. God himself speaks to me through the Bible, explaining it and helping me apply it to my life. The Holy Spirit convicts me when my thinking gets off and my actions don’t reflect what I believe.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses other people to help us see where our thinking is going wrong. I used to get very confused and disillusioned by people who said they were Christians but were not acting like what I thought a Christian should act like. I was regularly disappointed with what people said and did – especially in the church. I was in leadership positions in my church for many years and those of you who have been there know what that means. Unfortunately, too many people in churches use their leaders as punching bags and complaint boxes.
I will never forget one day when I was talking to my husband about my frustration concerning someone we knew who was saying that God had healed them but they obviously were not healed. “Why is she saying that when it’s not true?” I asked him. He looked me in the eye and said, “Judy, you have to stop looking at people. Focus your eyes on Jesus.”
That did it. I stopped looking around the world for a role-model on how to ‘live right’ and put my eyes on Jesus. This has helped me move past major issues with people in the church. I realize that Christians are just people and we’re all struggling with our sin and weaknesses. As believers, God has redeemed our lives but he is still in the process of helping each of us become more like Jesus.
When I focused on Jesus, my issues with imperfect Christians disappeared.
While he was on earth, Jesus gave imperfect Christians grace and love and spoke truth at the right time into their lives. I’m so glad he still treats us this way, because I am imperfect and will not become perfect until after I leave this earth.
Speaking to other people with grace and love and truth. Jesus did it – it’s the right thing to do.
Thank you, Abba Father.