My Way Is The Right Way – Isn’t It?

This is the text of my Daily Devotions Offering for our Circuit today. If you would prefer to watch the video it can be found here:

The readings for today from the Life Journal are 1 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 4; Psalms. 98; Romans 2

The readings from 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, which are similar to each other, are to do with Solomon building his palace and the equipment for the Temple. Lots of measurements! And I thought trying to measure the various parts of our porch to see if I could sort out a more accessible entrance were complex… What strikes me in these passages is the care and attention that was given to getting things right, for God and for the people to be able to worship God.

Psalm 98 is an amazing vision of not just personally, but all of creation, joining together to praise and worship God. Not just people, but the rivers, the seas, hills. I was in a webinar last week part of which was looking at where church goes from here, what we can embrace that we are missing. Someone asked the question that if so many find God in creation, why the church does not spend more time facilitating that and worshipping together in creation. We are so close here to the beautiful Peak District, partly what attracted us to come here, but God in Creation is all around. I’ll leave that thought with you.

Moving on. It is well known amongst my friends that I don’t do Paul in the New Testament and especially not Romans, but hey, every rule has it’s exception 🙂 Romans 2 brings us to the very live issue of passing judgement on others. It can be so easy to see one side, co-incidentally our side, of life. To be absolutely sure how something should be done, what the correct action and reaction to something is. Covid has given us a whole load more reasons to be in judgement of others, “they shouldn’t be doing that”, “they should be behaving this way”, “that’s not how I interpret the rules”.

Church can be a hotbed of judgement. Perhaps because we are so passionate about worship, the right way, the wrong way; we believe we have worked out the ‘real’ way God wants us to follow him; I know I am right… By definition I believe anyone who thinks differently is wrong.

It is oh so easy to see only what we think, without always considering where someone else might be. We very quickly create the ‘other’ from me and my tribe, and whether we mean to or not to make the other the enemy, those who threaten our safe thinking.

But I think God is much more compassionate than that, at least for my sake I hope God is! God is kind, tolerant and patient. God see’s not just what we do but why, and judges by those standards not the ones I might want God to…

Paul pointedly asks, “Do you pass judgement on others?”. Well Paul, yes I do. Sometimes I am so sure I am right that I cannot see there might be another way. Yet it is a wise truth that when you point the finger at someone else there are three pointing back at you.

And how often am I doing a version of what the person I am judging is doing? If I think God is judging them, which is what I am implying by sitting in judgement on them myself, then God is equally judging me. I bet now I can come up with many reasons to justify my actions! Perhaps I can apply that same consideration to others.

The truth is, I might be wrong. I am not walking in someone else’s shoes as they cannot walk in mine. I do not know their reality that makes them think, believe and act as they do. And actually what they are doing, how they act and respond may have much to teach me about a facet of God I have failed to notice or grasp.

So Paul leaves us with that thought, “Do you, my friend, pass judgment on others? You have no excuse at all, whoever you are.For when you judge others and then do the same things which they do, you condemn yourself. ” (Romans 2:1) Perhaps a thought we can stop and remeber before we are so quick to pass judgement on what someone else is doing.

Forgive me Lord
when I am so quick
to look at what others do
and sit in judgement,
decide they
and their actions
are wrong,
even not what you would want.

May I consider
from my high Horse
that there may be another way
a way that is right for them
even if not for me.

Give to me
and understanding.

Show me
the rich tapestry
of people,
life experience,
experience of you,
that together
we may not push each other away,
but learn the breadth
and depth
of experience of you.

And forgive me
the times when I am wrong,
when I have failed to follow your ways,
when I am doing something
that someone else would judge me for,
something you would judge me for.

Thank you that in your ways
there is always
and peace.

To go with it, I love this song, used as part of Thy Kingdom Come, though whilst not so much about judging is about seeking God’s Kingdom in and through all aspects of life.

~ by pamjw on May 21, 2021.

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