Did You Hear the Latest Scoop on Her?
by Lysa TerKeurst
"And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." Philippians 1:9 (NIV)
When we hear of another person's struggle is our first desire to more closely examine ourselves or more closely scrutinize this other person? It's a question worth considering. It's a question worth holding up to Biblical truth.
Over the past couple of days I've received three e-mails about an acquaintance of mine that is on the cover of many tabloid magazines right now. This devotion is not meant in any way to defend, offend, discuss, rehash, or remark about this woman I care about. This devotion is about you and me.
And those three e-mails.
The first e-mail I received used such hateful remarks it hurt my head to read it. Seriously, I could have skipped my run for that day because reading that e-mail set my heart racing as much as a good cardio workout. It was dripping with judgment, condemnation, and venomous words like "shameful" and "hate."
The second e-mail I received was a "Christian" call to action. It was strong and slightly demanding that I do something harsh about this situation. You know, rain down a little hell fire and brimstone in an effort to correct the actions of this woman in question. All in "love"' of course.
The third e-mail was completely different. It still expressed concern, and rightly so. However, in complete humility she said she's using this situation as a call to pray for this woman's life, and as a call to action to examine her own.
She said as she watched this woman being featured on TV, she saw things that bothered her. So, she asked herself some very tough questions about her own life - her own marriage - her own attitude about the importance she places on God. And she found herself falling short. With great honesty and courage, she set aside her judgments of another, and got down on her knees.
If I could have jumped through cyber-space, I would have thrown my arms around the author of the third e-mail and hugged her.
Sisters, I do believe with all my heart that there is a place for Christian accountability. I believe it is biblical and necessary. However, making judgmental remarks, rolling our eyes, belittling someone we don't personally know or do life with in the real world, and sending hateful e-mails is neither biblical or necessary.
It's totally missing the mark of what God has called His girls to be and to do.
If the actions and attitudes of another person hurt our heart and rub our soul the wrong way – be it a neighbor or a woman on the cover of a tabloid – I pray we handle it with the grace and dignity Jesus enables us to have. "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment" (Phil. 1:9).
And may we always remember the person in question is loved by God. He may not love their actions and He most certainly doesn't love anyone's sin, but the person, He loves.
They are loved.
She is loved.
We are loved.
Totally and immensely, unfathomably and remarkably, beautifully and abundantly loved.
Dear Lord, before I start picking at the splinters that are so easy to spot in other's eyes, may I have the humility to examine the plank I don't want to see in my own eye. Search me Lord, see if there is any wicked way within me and reveal it. Give me wisdom to know what to do about my own sin, a filter of grace by which to see others' sins, and a heart restrained from rash reactions because of Your love in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.