Grieving our Condemnation of a Photo being taken

Devotional Thought of the Day:

1  Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand 2  No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous. 3  It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. 4  But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, 5  he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. 6  Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. 7  God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! 8  You can count on this. I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone.   Titus 3:1-8 (MSG) 

16  If a hostile witness stands to accuse someone of a wrong, 17  then both parties involved in the quarrel must stand in the Presence of GOD before the priests and judges who are in office at that timeDeuteronomy 19:16-17 (MSG) 

758  You say that he is full of defects! Very well… but, apart from the fact that people who are perfect are found only in Heaven, you too have defects, yet others put up with you and, what is more, appreciate you. That is because they love you with the love Jesus Christ had for his own, and they had a fair number of shortcomings. Learn from this!

Yesterday my twitter and facebook accounts were flowing with criticism of three world leaders for taking a picture of themselves ( a “selfie”) at the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life. They were smiling, but the atmosphere of the celebration was a joyous one. How “shameful!”, how “horrible”, “How disrespectful”. were the cries.   To be honest, the two prime ministers, both of very reserved countries, were not criticised as much as President Obama was.  I wonder, if he had said no, and insulted the Danish lady who asked, how the press and the cybersphere would have handled it?

I challenged a few of the more virulent attacks, wondering where their compassion and understanding went, when the rush to judgment occured.  I asked a few questions,

1.  When exactly in the celebration was the picture taken?

2.  Who asked for the picture?

3.  Did you know this wasn’t the funeral, but a public celebration and testimony of this remarkable man’s work?

I’ve learned to ask these questions, because of my own experience rushing to judgment, and falling on my face as I realized I didn’t know the entire story.  I am not immune to such rushes to judgment, yet I can stop myself a little more often.  Those I asked – came back defensively, as if there was no valid reason to question their public questioning and condemnation of this action.  The irony is slightly amusing, but far more, it grieves me. Especially among those who know God, who understand His mercy, who know His commandments to love, to build up each other,these comments were made, and so I grieve.

I am afraid we’ve lost our way, that we’ve become so polarized in our comfort, that we don’t lift up leaders, that we don’t remember that they, like us, are human.  We don’t take on the big issues, but we look for what we perceive to be charachter flaws, signs of betrayal, and we latch onto those things. What kind of example are we setting, what kind of love are we showing people that God has for them?  If theyknow the scriptures, how could they see us as obedient to God, as treasuring the kind of life that He commissioned us to live?

If we claim to live in GOd’s presence, if we claim to know the Holy Spirit dwells in us, how can we continue to be so ready to believe and pass on every criticism about someone, whether we know the details or not.  How will this behavior reflect on the God who appointed us as His ambassadors?   Will this pattern of behavior, far more self centered than “selfies”, become part of our church relationships?  Our family life?

At what point will we lay down our idolatry, our  self appointed judgeships, and will we pray for our leaders?  When will we look to encourage them and respect them rather than tear them down?

Will will confess these sins, and hear those incredible words  – your sins are forgiven you – go and sin no more!

For God is faithful – and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3150-3154). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on December 11, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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