I’m very good at judging a book by its cover, especially the “judging” part. Something I do not take pride in.
My problem is, I never read the entire book. I decide I know the whole story just by skimming a few chapters, or even looking at the cover.
I realized the other day how often I will watch other women, how often I will listen to their words and how often I will come to a conclusion about them based solely on a few comments or their outward demeanor. I am ashamed to say that I allow my mind those conclusions when only God knows their heart. I Samuel 16:7
I am not God.
One comment, one action, one mean word
and we can tend to write someone off as a bad book.
We have no idea what’s going on in their heart, in the ugly chapters with the long words and heartbreaking scenarios. We don’t know what they’ve been through or might be going through. The defenses and walls they’ve put up. The hurt they’ve endured. The sadness that overwhelms.
There is always something deeper.
I am not condoning bad behavior. We should always strive to be like Christ, but often we are quick to apply that rule to others and not to ourselves. Matthew 7:2-5
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
I know without a doubt that Christ has never had thoughts similar to those I have had in the past. Wretched thoughts such as~
“What a jerk. What a witch.
What a miserable, horrible person”.
Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139: 16-17
Putting it on paper makes me weep because I know, all Christ sees is love. Forgiveness. Understanding. Mercy and grace.
He sympathizes with our circumstances because He is fully aware of what this life entails. He’s been through it. His understanding is infinite. Psalm 147:5, Philippians 2:6,7, Hebrews 4:15,16
Too often I have heard the words…
“but you don’t know what she’s like, what she said, what she did, what she wrote. You don’t know…”
I have spoken those exact words myself.
God knows though. Inevitably by saying those words I am somehow trying to justify myself for my wrong actions in judging that person.
My actions that were not Christlike.
My actions that were no better than hers.
There have been times I was hurting deeply. There have been times I have been stuck in a place of darkness and loneliness, feeling as if no one understood. All the raw emotions that gripped me would suddenly spill out, and I would lash out at someone from the agonizing pain I had been holding in. Other moments tears would be so close that I would remain quiet, appearing aloof. In all my setbacks and shortcomings, I am so glad Christ never judged me by my cover. I am so glad he knew my thoughts and heart and instead of judging He was my advocate to God my Father. He sat with me in the pain and pulled me out of it. He gave me grace. I John 2:1-2, James 4:6
Oh ladies, why can’t we be like Christ? Why can’t we look a little deeper and show a little more empathy? Why are we so quick to judge and so lax to pray? Why can’t we offer to sit with them in the pain~with grace on our lips instead of grumbling in our hearts?
I want to be that book called grace. I want my pictures and words to be beautiful illustrations of mercy, empathy, forgiveness and love.
More important, when God looks at my thoughts and heart toward others, I want Him to see those exact pictures too. We can hide behind a beautifully illustrated cover, but what does Christ see when He looks inside? Proverbs 4:23, I Peter 3:3-4, Psalm 19:14
Our world is a wounded, hurting world. A world that desperately needs Hope, the hope that only Christ can give.
A world that needs to read your book.
Let it be the book called Grace.
James 4:6,11-12, I Peter 2:9, Proverbs 3:3-4