Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Avoiding The Tormentors

by Donna L. Watkins

Judging is a lifestyle that puts others down so we can feel better about ourselves. In a world where the prettiest, smartest, fastest and wealthiest are promoted as most valuable, judging is part of living and breathing.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Squirrel - Time to Pray

Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you."

Is it any wonder that our lives are filled with trials, tribulations, challenges and continual disaster? How much mental time do you spend judging others? Judging yourself? God doesn't say it's okay to judge ourselves, other than to make sure we compare our actions against Godly character. It's not okay to hammer ourselves into the ground for mistakes and blunders. If you grew up with parents who could find nothing right about what you did, you have a challenge to overcome, but God tells us we are overcomers, so don't use it as an excuse for a miserable life.

Smart people do stupid things. Good people do bad things. Misguided people don't even know what they're doing. That's why Jesus told us there's no limit to forgiving, not even the same person day after day. In forgiving we gain a lot. It is now being counseled in the secular world that forgiveness has the power to transform lives. We've got to learn to hit the "delete button" when we're offended.

On the other side of the coin, those who do not forgive have everlasting turmoil and torment in their lives. Do you remember the story in Matthew 18 of the servant who owed his master 10,000 talents? A talent was 15 years' worth of labor. The master was going to sell his wife, children and all he owned, but the servant begged forgiveness and the master felt compassion and released him and forgave the debt.

Not catching the compassion of the moment, the servant went to find one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii. A denarius was a day's wages. He began to choke him demanding that he pay back what he owed. When the fellow slave pleaded for mercy and promised repayment, the forgiven slave threw him into prison.

The master heard of this and asked the forgiven slave if another did not deserve the same mercy and forgiveness he had received. Moved with anger, he did not wait for a reply, but instead "handed him over to the torturers (tormentors) until he should repay all that was owed him." Obviously he couldn't repay 150,000 years of earnings.

We can never repay what God has given us through forgiveness and provision of the blood of Christ. There is no way, but we can "payback the compassion" by extending forgiveness to those in our lives that have offended, hurt, injured, abused, misunderstood and belittled us. We can't expect "them" to make the first step. Often they are oblivious to their own behavior. They have rationalized it to be the good guy at the center of their world. No amount of incoming data will challenge that rationalization or change anything.

Serial killers think like this. Politicians, too. Also thieves, social outcasts, actors, perverts, and scammers ... And you and me too. Yep, it's part of being human. All of us have areas in our life that we could call black and would not want others to know about. Areas we struggle with, things we did that we're not proud of, things said that we can't take back.

My thoughts turn to .... "there but for the grace of God go I." Instead of focusing on the offense and behavior, turn the view back around to yourself and realize that given the same life they've had (of which you will never know all the details of), you could've been the same. Yes, you made some better choices, but God's grace gave us the choice. Haven't you been in a time of life where you know you were only a hair's breadth of going the wrong way?

There is no excuse for not forgiving. It's certainly a choice we can make ... but next time you wonder why so many things in your life are going wrong ... you might wonder if the tormentors have the upper hand. And if they do, ask God to show you why.

The promises of God were for a people who confessed their sins and had a heart to live in righteousness and holiness. We may live in a "do your own thing" kind of world, but as Christians we are to live disciplined, merciful lives filled with God's grace for ourself and others.

I've been focused on keeping a thought in my mind to repel the instantaneous action of judgment. The thought is from Psalms 17:3: "I have purposed in my heart that my mouth will not transgress."

James 3:6 tells us that "the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." Sounds like a good part of the body to focus on since it can cause so much trouble.

Like David I want to be able to say to God, "Thou hast proved my heart; thou hast visited me in the night; Thou hast tried me, and findest nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress" (Psalm 17:3).

Hearing God's Voice
The book that is having a monumental impact on my life and way of living is one called, How To Hear God's Voice by Mark and Patti Virkler. The clear and detailed content with loads of Scriptural backup, along with the interactive process of applying what you are learning, is yielding a lot of spiritual fruit in my life and the life of my husband, the counselor, who is now promoting the book to everyone he knows. Your view of the present, past and future will never be the same when you begin to commune with God as He always intended us to do since He walked with man in the Garden of Eden. For those who yearn for a deeper relationship with the Father, this book will take you there if you read and apply it. The author promises that and I do too!

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
The link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

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