You Don't Start Back, You Start Over
- 2009 7 Nov
Do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:3-4
This passage of scripture reminds us that we need to be careful about passing judgment on others. As Christians, we are called to love the unlovely and pray for people who persecute us. We are also called to help bring restoration and light to people who are stumbling around in the darkness.
For the past ten weeks our middle son, Andrew, has been in a faith based recovery center to help free him from drug addictions. His girlfriend Kayla has stood by his side, but it hasn't been easy for her. She remembers all the things that he did before he chose to check himself in and so she still has doubts as to whether or not he will stay drug free once he leaves. In the natural this is very understandable, and since Kayla isn't a believer, she has no other grid to work from. During one of the times of visitation, Andrew's grandmother made a profound statement to Kayla. She said, "Kayla you don't start back, you have to start over."
That is the very way that God deals with us when we come to Him in faith and confess our dependence on Him. Right in the middle when we need help, He invites us to come boldly into His throne room and receive His grace and mercy for our needs (Hebrews 4:16). He doesn't want us to shrink back in fear because of our mistakes. God promises that when we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us. He extends new mercy and grace every day to us, because He knows that we have used the last batch that He gave to us!
Don't you wish that people could forget your mistakes as easily as God does? Most of us would rather sit on the judgment seat than on the mercy seat! Just like Kayla, we all have a hard time forgetting the mistakes of others and pressing on to the good things that God has for them. God's mercies are new every morning not just for us; He expects us to pass mercy onto to others that we are in relationship with, too. That's how the goodness of God leads people to experience God so that they will want to repent and turn to Him. God is gracious to extend His love to us while we are still in our sin; how much more should we be willing to extend His love to others?
So today, if you find yourself judging someone's attitudes or behavior, ask God to download an extra helping of His mercy for you to pass along to them. If you hear yourself saying things like "they deserve it," or "I told you so", it could be that you need a cardio exam. Mercy triumphs over judgment and God's goodness through us leads people to repentance!
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You for having mercy on me! Help me to extend mercy to people that I meet today. Forgive me when I am quick to pass judgment on people. Teach me to love others the way that You love me. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Cinde Lucas is an ordinary person, who happens to LOVE to encourage and motivate people! She has a passion to share the Love of God with people and to let them know that God is GOOD and He has an AWESOME plan for their lives! Cinde truly desires to lead people into a closer relationship with God through music; her prayer is that the ministry we share will uplift and encourage people to be all that God created them to be. VisitOverflow Ministries at www.CindeLucas.com.