I used to think my blog was about teaching. Nope. I give up that role. I am not a teacher. That’s not who I am anymore. That’s not my role. God has told me that my role is to share His grace. To tell who He is, and that might be in your role as a mom or a child care giver, but it might not. It might be in your role as a teacher, an engineer, a lawyer, a dentist, veterinarian, a working mom…whatever your calling. I don’t judge you. Instead, I just want you to know that there is grace for you in whatever area of life God has called you….even if you don’t know what it is yet.
Why? Because no one needs more judgment. My loudest judger was my own head, but we have plenty of critics in the form of people in our lives. And I’ve realized judgment isn’t the answer, and believe it or not, neither is knowledge. What we need is grace. What we need is love. What we need is a Savior. And He came, so we could have life and live it and enjoy it and own it to the fullest capacity….all based on His ability, His doing, His leading, not ours. And when life gets about that, you will be freer than any info and or teaching or step or lesson that I or any other person could give you.
The other day Emme was playing with friends of ours, and I said, “Now Emme, you need to share that toy.” Crazy, I realized even though we’ve read books and watched sharing episodes of Daniel Tiger and had many playdates, she probably really has no idea what sharing looks like. She is an only child, set to expire in April, but she has never had to share her toys. Most days when she plays with toys with the exception of playing with mom or dad, she plays how she wants to with no one to stop her and want to play alongside her. What does that mean for me when I tell her to share? That means I have to show her. I have to be willing to be a teacher every day, and not a fault finder simply when she does something wrong.
And then God showed me His mercy. He showed me that although my head had made Him a fault finder, a hard nosed discipliner for the sake of disciplining, a finger pointer, that wasn’t who He was. He doesn’t teach you or correct you for the simple point of correcting you. He doesn’t take you to the principal’s office to put you in your place, and if that’s the voice you hear, you aren’t really hearing Him. He is gentle and kind. He is love. He corrects because He loves you. And when He deals with you in a certain area, He does it not to shame you but to bring more abundance and health and life to you. Jesus never used guilt. He never used shame. He never talked down to any one except people who trusted self-righteously in their own works. He also doesn’t bring disaster of any kind to your life to teach you. He will allow you to choose your own path, and if you decide not to follow His gentle correction, He will allow you to live in the consequences of your decisions.
I was reading Hosea the other day. I know you’re thinking really? Who reads Hosea? Honestly, I never would have until my husband told me what it was about. Do you know what Hosea is about? God had His prophet Hosea marry and have a family with a prostitute. Why? To show His unconditional love for us. Hosea had several children with Gomer, the prostitute, that were not his but due to her lifestyle. But He loved them. He loved her. She left him, and he accepted her back. It hurt his heart, but he loved her. Great picture of how God loves us. We prostitute ourselves to so many false gods and lures of satisfaction that can never truly satisfy, and God will let us go. He will let us choose, and He will love us as we live in the death those choices bring, but His heart is always one of a father that reaches for us, that longs for us, and that will renew us the moment we turn to Him.
I started to realize how much I fault find not only with Emme, but I do it with Joel, my mom, my friends, my acquaintances, people I barely know. I find fault. I judge. I don’t think I realized how much of my time I spent doing it. I often don’t think I did it at all. My thoughts on others behavior choices were just my thoughts, but I listened to a message by Carl Lentz
called “There Goes the Neighborhood,” and I realized how long it’s taken me to come across some of the lessons that God has so faithfully and kindly tried to teach me over the years. He said where there have been years of hurt or being lost, sometimes we all need years of love to be truly healed, to let our walls down. Now, I don’t put time limits or restrictions on God. Can He change you in a moment? Yes! Does it always happen that way? No, mostly I think because our heads and thoughts get in the way.
We need people not to give up on hurt, angry, broken people, because God didn’t give up on us. He kept sending. He kept talking. He kept showing love sometimes through one person, but often times through a number of people. I have layers of hurt and lies that I believe that God continues to heal gently each day, and when I am convinced that He is a great loving teacher who gives and gives and gives in various ways to lead me to life, I can be that to the people He’s called me to…my daughter, myself, my husband, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my acquaintances, my neighborhood. And I want to be that each day because people are hurting and lost and need love, and I have been given that each day of my life. The question is do I slow down enough to see it and appreciate it. It makes all the difference.
It’s a lesson I keep relearning, and I will keep relearning for the rest of my life because God is good and gentle and kind, and His plan is to lead beside still waters and help us avoid things in life that bring death by directing our daily steps not our leaps. That’s His goal. That’s why He teaches us so gently and kindly and with everlasting perseverance. So don’t try to love others in this manner because your flesh will fail you. Instead study Jesus. See that this love and life was the embodiment of who He was. Persuade your heart, and you’ll be able to love others this way because of belief and not out of a white knuckled struggle and striving in your own strength.
God is good. He loves you. He NEVER fault finds. He always hopes, always trusts, always believes, and always calls you who you really are, not what you see in the mirror. See yourself in the mirror of His Word…free, full of purpose, provided for at all times, loved by God, worthy of the sacrifice of Jesus, redeemed from the curse of sin, death, and sickness, whole in your body, having eyes that see and ears that hear. And none of the changes or things that you do in your life will be about you or your strength any longer, they will all be about Him, and then you can take a collective sigh of relief because He’s freed you, the pressure is off, and He is doing life through you.