Being drawn into fighting battles we are not meant to fight is a temptation we all face. A better way to approach such battles is to take Moses’ advice given to the Israelites when Pharaoh and his army were breathing down their neck at the Red Sea. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 NIV
Examining those unexpected journeys helps us to find ourselves in their journeys and gives us 5 ways to identify with the Christmas story.
Discovering numerous files on marriage, including on such books as “His Needs, Her Needs” (1986) and “Men are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” (1992) I had to laugh and feel a bit embarrassed, about teaching so much on a topic I know now I knew so little.
How we react and where we turn in the face of misunderstandings and false judgments about our motives or character can deescalate tense situations and avert much needless sorrow.
Years ago I experienced the stark reality that when I find myself pointing a finger of judgment at someone I need to beware that three fingers are pointing back at me. It forever etched in my memory a foundational precaution in forming opinions and judgments about others.
As a new believer in my mid-twenties I was working in an office environment where one of my fellow employees was a very sharp dresser. He was the cool dude of the office, knew it, and projected an air of superiority. Over the course of time his arrogance began to grate on me. One morning as I passed by his desk where he was standing, I noticed to my delight that he had missed a belt loop. Those were the days of the wide belt and tucked shirt, so it was an error glaringly visible to all. As I was inwardly gloating over his unwitting faux pas, the Holy Spirit pushed the pause button on my little celebration and interjected this thought – “Why don’t you check your own belt loop.” ….. At that, I quickly felt around my waist and to my chagrin I discovered I had missed a belt loop too! Need I say more? God certainly is not without a sense of humor when gently correcting us and teaching us life lessons.
It was a lesson that has stuck with me to this day. More often than I would like to acknowledge, when I am in the process of judging another, I hear the Holy Spirit cautioning me “Check your own belt loop.” In other words, check your own heart and behavior before you’re so quick to judge.