Love you all, praying for you.
I just love God’s Word – it defines character. Most people don’t know what good character is, it’s just a sliding scale of opinion. Thankfully God makes it clear. One warning God gives – guard your heart. While this has multiple applications, one of the things that the devil does is try to spoil your heart, though someone’s comments. Not about you, but about others. Most people don’t realize you are both a sower and soil. Sower is what you do with your mouth, soil is what you do with your ears and your mouth. Have you ever had someone say something to you about another person that was negative, or unflattering? Maybe they took offense at something that person did or said. Maybe they interpreted a word or action from that person as a slight, impolite, or unkind. When someone shares their feelings with you about another person, what do you do with that comment? It will go somewhere… you choose. Do you let it go in one ear, and out the other? That would be wise. Or do you let it into your heart to shape your opinion of the targeted person? Do you take it as fact? Do you allow comments about other people to impact your view of them? What if it’s not true? What if the person talking just had a bad day, or had something else they’re really struggling with. Or had a previous experience with the targeted person they viewed as negative, correctly or incorrectly, which influences every future experience they have with that person. What does that have to do with you? What other people say and do is on them, but what you do with comments about others – is on you. What do you allow into your heart – that shapes your opinion of others? Other people’s perceptions are not truth, they’ve just become reality for them. Do you let someone’s perceptions about people affect your view of them? God said we are to guard our heart – that means in part – do not let yourself become hard hearted towards a person. That applies to your direct experience with that person, much less indirect. And if we are to be open hearted with others, if we are to not take offense, but cover it over. If we are to not hold other’s faults against them, if we are to live at peace, believe the best, give the benefit of the doubt in all situations - that we directly experience with them, why would you let someone else’s experience or opinion affect your view of them in any way. We can form opinions about others – through no direct contact or communication. Hardly fair, or accurate… That’s what the devil tries to do – get people to sow discord among brothers and sisters, or even strangers. How does discord get sown? There are two sides to that coin. What is said, and what is received. A negative comment about someone doesn’t sow discord in you. What you do with that comment – what you allow into your heart is how discord is sown. They might try, but you don’t need to receive it. Forming an opinion of a person based on someone’s perception of them is rather foolish. That’s what creates discord – sowing and receiving. The offended person may sow discord, but that doesn’t mean it gets sown in you. Only what you allow into your heart gets sown in you. If Sally complains about Susie – what does that have to do with you? Susie may be totally innocent. And if you don’t do something with those comments – (send them on their way – not let them into your heart) your opinion of Susie may be damaged needlessly, erroneously. Praying that you will never say anything negative. Don’t you sow discord. God said, you should say nothing harmful about others whether they harm you or not. That’s the fear of the LORD. But also praying that you would never let any harmful talk about others– enter into your heart. That you would guard your heart against gossip, offense, or anything negative about anyone. We are to serve one another, prefer them above ourselves, love even our enemies, and as much as it depends on us – live at peace with all men. Praying that you would be a peace maker, not a discord sower - or discord receiver. One Pastor – when someone shared a negative comment about a mutual acquaintance, said, “Do you want me to agree with you on that?” Not sure I’d be that bold in shutting someone down. But there is something to be said about not letting people talk negatively about others in your presence. You don’t have to call them out directly, just encourage them to make things right – “I’m so sorry that happened, maybe they were just having a rough day, I’ve fallen into that trap… have you had a chance to make things right with them?” It might encourage them to follow Matthew 18 so God can bring forgiveness and restore unity, where the devil wanted division. Praying that you will guard your heart, what comments you let in… so you don’t form any negative opinion about anyone – based on the slander of them by others. Don’t tattle to Susie – that perpetuates gossip and offense, just encourage Sally to seek resolution with Susie instead of letting things build up. You will either sow peace, or discord, you will either receive peace or discord. But also, You will either be a peace maker, or let offense remain. It takes courage to speak the truth in love, but God can use you to seek peace and pursue it. Praying that you would always speak life, always overlook faults, always believe the best, and encourage others to do the same, that you would always pursue peace, so you live at peace with all men. This is the fear of the LORD.
Love you all,
Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!