Summary: Daily forgiveness frees me from the spiritual debris cluttering my life and prohibiting me from clearly seen Christ in my present situation and living in his power.
A brother comes up to me and mentions the fact that my brakes are making a noise and I probably need to get new brake pads. A few days later he pointed out that my front wheel rotors were badly worn and needed to be replaced.
What is the proper response to such criticism?
“You should not be so judgmental. Don’t you know the Bible says “Judge not lest ye be judged”? This truck is doing the best it can. After all, when it was being produced in the factory a forklift abused it. It’s not the truck’s fault. So, don’t be judgmental about this truck.”
His response would be, “If you don’t replace the wheel rotors you are going to cause permanent damage to the truck.”
He was absolutely right. He wasn’t being mean or judgmental or legalistic, rather he was reaching out in love and concern about a problem I didn’t know was developing. He saw what I could not see.
If only we would take this attitude toward spiritual things. Why is it that we take better care of our vehicles than we do our own attitudes in life?
This past week the Internet service at the church was interrupted for two days. On the first day there was some problem in the area that affected the Internet service. I was instructed to unplug everything from the router, wait a few moments, then plug it back in. Inadvertently, one of the plugs was put back in the wrong place causing it not to function.
I called the service to come and check it out. Everything checked out fine. The line coming into the church was working just fine. The router itself was working fine. Then the technician noticed that the plug was put in the phone socket and not the Internet socket.
Everything was in order but not everything was in place.
This is something like our life.
Yes, we are Christians, born again and happily on our way to heaven. We believe the right things and have embraced correct doctrine. However, something’s not working in our life. There doesn’t seem to be a real connection in our life. Things are not working. The engine is running but we are not going anywhere.
Amazing how many people will go for years and years living in this situation when all they really need is to switch the plug and put it in the right socket. Spiritually speaking, of course.
The reason we don’t do these things is because we are unwilling to accept criticism. The reason we are unwilling to accept criticism is because we do not have confidence in our relationship with God. Some people feel that any amount of criticism is unacceptable and unchristian.
We go to a doctor and after his examination he becomes very critical and tells us all the things that are wrong with us. Few people get angry at their doctor for being so critical. Few people accuse the doctor of being judgmental. They know his criticism, although harsh at the time, has a healing element to it.
Forgiveness is based upon the ability to accept criticism, which is probably the most difficult thing any of us can do. We all have a rather high opinion of ourselves which hinders any significant and consistent spiritual progress in our life. This self-centeredness, keeps us from discovering the power of forgiveness in our daily life.