It is amazing how upside down our thinking can be compared to God’s. I mean every one of the principles in God’s word is opposite of what we seem to do. Just a quick scan of the Beatitudes from Matthew 5- principles to help us get on top of our hurts, habits and hang ups- every one of them is downright opposite of what we would normally do. No wonder we often are heading for the ground instead of the sky!
Let me share some of the most important things you and I can ever learn and hang on to; three ways to keep your thinking right side up:
#1- A strong growing believer understands that a judgmental attitude is a weakness- not a strength…
Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it is all right to eat anything. But another believer who has a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who think it is all right to eat anything must not look down on those who won’t. And those who won’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Romans 14:1
Question: do you think God is only talking about what people eat here? Or is He talking about all sorts of things that we have a firm conviction about- and other people see it a different way? The answer is B. all sorts of things. How do I know? Look how He starts; don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. Simple enough... Hardly a week goes by that I don’t have a discussion about this. Everyone struggles with judgmental attitudes... That’s ok. Harboring them. Justifying them. Ignoring them… That’s gonna cause a serious obstruction in your strength and growth as a believer. After all, who’s roll are you taking on when you sit in the judgment seat?
#2- The strong growing believer does not argue with other believers… (in his head or with his mouth) …in God’s name… stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them. 2 Timothy 2:14 Fighting over words is what most arguments turn into. Not fighting over the issue… Fighting over the words that the other person used and then the other person fights over those words. That’s called “escalation”! You ever get in a fight with someone and when it’s over you can’t remember what it was about? That’s because you ended up fighting over words… Arguing is an internal attitude- at its root, arguing is a lack of personal peace and self worth… God’s council? Don’t do it! Just don’t argue- most of the time you just need to shut up and let someone else be right. What are you trying to prove anyway? But you say, Lyn I was trying to show them what’s right… I was taking God’s side… I was showing them what the Bible says… Hummm; well as long as we’re talking about the Bible, let’s go with what it says about that: …avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Titus 3:9Controversies are arguments that cannot be won. Genealogies has to do with claiming authority or claiming to know more than others because of a religious upbringing. And what law is He talking about? Whatever part of the Bible you use as law is the law He’s talking about. Could be the 10 commandments, could be the sermon on the mount- if you are using as law- that’s what it is… Yeah, I know. You and I have the same judgmental attitudes toward people as we had BC- but now… Now we can give it a righteous label. Wonderful! How convenient! But look at the result; not only is this stuff: unprofitable and useless… (Titus 3:9) but also this stuff can ruin those who hear them… (2 Timothy 2:14). The strong growing believer does not argue with other believers…
#3- The strong growing believer must be first and foremost concerned with his or her own relationship with God…So why do you condemn another Christian? Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God.. Romans 14:10
See that word “personally”? What does that mean to you? Can you picture that moment? Later in the same chapter He says it this way, each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So don’t condemn each other anymore. Romans 14:12-13 Do you notice the contrast in each of these verses? God, in His word, seems to consistently make a contrast between your personal relationship with Him and your judgment of others. Why? Because more than anything else that seems to be what gets in the way… Nothing turns thinking upside down more than looking at what others ought to be doing or not doing. When you get “concerned” about someone else’s relationship with God it’s impossible to focus on yours. Think about it; in order to put your eyes on someone else you have to take them off of you and off of Christ (Hebrews 12:2). The strong growing believer must first and foremost be concerned with his or her own relationship with God…