Friday, January 22, 2010

Don't let others discourage you!

"And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye." Luke 6:41-42

Jesus spoke often in His ministry about the hypocrisy of people judging one another. I think sometimes as a person finds herself growing in the Lord, she can easily slip into an attitude of ..."I don't do that"... or "Oh no, what you're doing is not godly.."

I'm sure most brothers and sisters in Christ have good intentions, afterall the Bible does instruct us to teach and even mentor one another in Christ.

But there is also an appropriate time and place for teaching and instructing.

Only God Himself truly knows what another person is going through. Only He can see clearly into your heart, your life, and your circumstance.

The greatest call God places on our lives, is to love one another. To love God first...and love your neighbor as yourself.

Perhaps you have the gift to teach, and are eager to put that gift to use for the Lord. But remember, that's an awesome responsibility, and its important to be discerning of when to teach, and when to just be a friend. Just listen. Just pray for the person.

In Bible study Wednesday night, our teacher brought up a very important point when he said...."Self righteousness kills compassion...." He hit the nail on the head.

Sometimes, your brother or sister might be going through unbelievable trials or challenges, and in fact may be at a point in their life where they just need someone to offer compassion, understanding, and encouragement.

Be careful whose advice you take, who you listen to. I've learned that many times, people have good intentions, but in their eagerness to "instruct me in the Lord", they end up more concerned about how "holy" my life is or is not, what I'm doing that's "right or wrong", and they just miss the opportunity that God sent them alongside me at a time in my life where I was absolutely devastated, just hanging on to God in faith with everything I had in me, and needing to simply be reminded that God loves me, God sees all my struggles, God knows my pain, and He is going to get me through this.

So to my fellow parents who go through indescribable challenges with your special needs child(ren), just remember that there are definitely people in this life who clearly have no clue about your personal battles. Don't let their failure to comprehend the depth of your struggles discourage you about where you are in your walk with Christ.

God knows what you need in your life, and speaking from personal experience the best advice and encouragement I get is from His Word, and my time alone with Him. Encourage yourself by reading an inspiring book...I highly recommend Joel Osteen's 'Become a Better You'. Every page is full of hope and encouragement and inspires me to let God love me and move in me and bring to life the gift He's placed inside of me.

Yes, I understand that we each need to "mature" in the Lord, that there are things in my life that are "carnal", things I may do that others may find worldly and that God's Word is the final authority in my life, and all my decisions need to be based on His instruction.

I also know that God in His mercy and love for me knows exactly where I'm at, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. He can and is shepherding me one day at a time, meeting me where I am, putting all the broken pieces back together.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart...and love your neighbor as yourself.

Just don't forget to love yourself.


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Helpful info about Autism from the National Autism Society