Where do I have my focus, part 2?
This time I want to focus on how we look at our fellow human beings. I recently listened to a sermon and the pastor got me thinking. This pastor worked a lot with homeless people and he told several stories, especially about his first meeting with them. He did not think:” Oh, they are so bad. How can they live like this?” He knew very well that the Spirit of the Lord lived in HIM and that Jesus loved THEM. He often experienced that God in him brought forth God’s original plans for this particular person. God has a plan for each individual and this is already laid down in each person. The homeless might not dare to dream, not even think that they are having unused potensiales. The talents are dug down so deep that they have lost hope in the fact that there are “spades” and people that can dig them up. There was one man who asked if he could sing for the pastor and the pastor did not answer with a patronizing smile: “Yes, yes, but another time.” (Thinkink that another time never comes.) No, the pastor listened to one song after the other. The voice was not clear, but the Holy Spirit finally came and the man started to sing Christian songs and they had an encounter with the Living God and the potensials in the man.
When we meet a prostitute, what do we think? “Oh, how disgusting! or……………….. God has never made a young woman for prostitution. He has made her as a queen and to live a life worthy her BRIDEGROOM. He has made her to give and receive from her own husband, to bear forth a child and to be a mother. God never created the female body as a product for sale, but as a TEMPLE FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT. If we only confirm that she is a prostitute, she will remain in prostitution, but if we focus on God’s plans for her life, we can help her to leave the devil’s plans and come into God’s. OUR FOCUS CAN DECIDE HER FUTURE.
How do we look at our own children and those of others? I heard a pastor who referred to how a mother reacted when her child learned to walk. The mother ignores the tablecloth falling down and all other mistakes and cries out: “Look, look, it walks.” If the child falls down after one step, does not make any difference. When I heard this story, I started to cry. I thought that
my mother would never have done that. She always focused on the wrong thing I did and would never have seen my first step. She is forgiven both by me and God, but it has affected my life greatly. The Holy Spirit and I have worked together in order for me to look for the positive potensials in me and others.
Parents and teachers have a great responsibility for the upbringing of children. I was sent home by a teacher for loosing a couple of stitches when I was learning to knit. Do you think that I love knitting? No, I do not. I did learn it, but I do not see any enjoyment in it. Did my teacher forget that I had hundreds of stitches that I had made correct? No, she had a wrong focus?
Children can also be quite cruel to each other. If a child starts with glasses, that child can be called many ugly things. Others are teased for being too long, too short, too thin or too fat. That part of the child will soon become the child’s identity.
Maybe you are good in many subjects, but not in one. You might hear that you are stupid. Then the others have a wrong focus. The truth is that you are clever, but you need some help in this one particular subject. I remember well a positive saying by a well known actor. I had performed at school and he praised me. I appreciate his saying even to-day and this could have helped me to become an actress if God did not have other plans for me.
God has created every person in His image, but with different talents and resources. I find it wrong if people say: “I cannot do anything. I am nothing, but only Jesus in me. “It sounds very pious, but God has created you with treasures and they have to come forth and be used. Remember the story in the Bible about the talents.They are supposed to be used in order for the crop to increase.
In Scaninavia we have something called “janteloven”. That is an unwritten law saying that you must never think that you are something. You must not rise above anybody else.
God has created us and we shall give Him honor, but we should surely carry forth what He has laid down in us.
How do we treat each other in the congregation? The Bible says that we should give each other honor, but we have a tendency to dishonor each other. The Word of God warns us against gossipping, but we forget that quite often. I do not know if we subconsciously feel better when we talk about the faults of others. Sometimes it might be a deep need for praying when we share a sad thing with another sister or brother, but often it is in order to satisfy our flesh. How often do we call someone to tell somthing positive about another one? It is much easier to call and say: “Have you heard……………………?”
It is very difficult to be a leader to-day, both in the secular and in the Christian world. Media sends out journalists whose purpose is to dig up human faults and mistakes. The mistakes might have been made many years back, but everybody must know about it and many families have been ruined. Even if a case is closed or a person has asked for forgiveness matters. Quite a few people live on and by the mistakes of others. Most of the news are negative. I remember an Easter when my daughters were children. Our TV broke and I tried to make a program with “good news” instead of the usual misery. I do not want you to misunderstand. I do not support congregations that want to hide their mistakes. Sins should be confessed and I believe that what comes into the light, becomes light, but it should be done in the right spirit. We as Christians must not forget the grace that we live by and owe to others.
The devil was jealous at all the praise that God got in Heaven and he wanted more attention. He wants the same to-day. He is happy when we as Christians spend a lot of energy to talk about all his deeds. He is especially happy when we think that the spiritual war is fought on a human arena and we judge individuals. If we can’t forgive our sister or brother, we make the devil super happy. I know that God has called me to reveal the deeds of the devil, but I do know that I do not war against flesh and blood. I also know that that Jesus took the keys away from the devil and won victory over him on the Cross. WE HAVE WON VICTORY IN JESUS. GOD HAS NOT CALLED US TO BECOME BLIND, BUT TO BRING FORTH THE BEST IN EACH OTHER. When we encourage somebody, it will bring a positive result. The opposite, will give a negative result. (I do not talk about constructive criticisme.) Just think of what happens when a film or book is launced. The first critic will decide if it becomes a success or a fiasco. That can cost someone millions.
DO WE WANT TO SLAUGHTER OR BRING HEALING AND RESTORATION?
We are supposed to hate the sin, but love the people.
BE A CHANNEL OF GOD TO BRING FORTH THE BEST IN YOUR NEIGHBOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!