“But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,”
Why is it that we so often see God as someone who is just eager to discipline or when it seems as though we aren’t close to Him we assume He walked away? Why are some people eager to judge and condemn when the God of heaven is so forgiving, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love? Don’t get me wrong, God is a just and a holy God who will discipline as He disciplined the Israelites but He gives us every opportunity to do what is right first and then when we repent and turn back to Him He is always eager to wrap His arms around us and renew a right relationship with Him!
Over and over and over the Israelites would turn from God and create their own gods and they would rebel and every time they would wake up and realize their sin and turn to God and His desire was always to restore them in their walk with Him. Do we give other people the same grace God does or are we too busy pointing out their sins and making sure they “pay” for them? First of all, who are we to judge since Jesus paid the price for their sin? There are times that it is Biblical to correct but there is a difference between Biblical correction and restoration and being judgmental! It is the churches place to make sure that “such a one is restored.”
The art of restoration seems to have taken a backseat to correcting and tossing aside good men and women that God still wants to use! I don’t know about you but I don’t want to stand before God one day and have to answer the question of why I didn’t think His correction for someone else’s sin was enough so I had to step in to make sure that person never had the chance to serve God again! I believe that would be a dangerous position to be in! We need to pray that God will help us discern and our churches discern His heart in these matters. It is very often the person who is the most judgmental that has the most skeletons in their closet and their desire is to feel better about themselves and their lack of relationship with God by pointing out someone else’s sin. Don’t be that person, choose to be the person that helps to bring out the best in others and to help them realize their full potential in Christ. If you ask God today to give you direction in your own life and in the lives of others He will and the rewards of helping yourself and others realize God given potential far outweighs judging and condemning.
“Seek to do good and you will find that happiness will run after you.” James Freeman Clarke