Today’s post by Guest Blogger, Tiffany Barnett. My friend and sister in Christ whose love for the Lord burns bright!
Why is it so easy to see the worst in others while being blinded to their best? Our inner, hypocritical struggle plants little seeds that harvest a garden of hatred. We tend to forget God created all of us from dust; and what we despise in others is actually a reflection of what resides in our selves. It may not always look the same, but its’ origins never differ. The origin is this: we all have fallen short of the glory of God.
Christ died for all, not some, so that those who believe in him can be reconciled to a Holy God, who we all have sinned against. What a humble reminder when God lovingly but sternly removes us from our man-made pedestal, reminding us He bore our sin and shame. How quick we are to see smudges on the windowpane, as the beautiful view behind it goes unnoticed.
Out of all of Jesus’ disciples, Peter always comes to my mind as an example of placing the focus on a person’s failures and forgetting the glory of God through their life. Peter walked on water with Jesus but quickly sank when he tried to swim in his own self-sufficiency. Jesus rebuked him, even calling him Satan, for having his mind on the here and now rather than eternity. Many times Peter seemed to have it all figured out; yet his actions demonstrated that the depth of Jesus’ words was like a shallow puddle evaporating in the summer sun. There was one incident in Peter’s life that stands out so profound, it has attached to him like a title, a last name. Peter denied Jesus not once, not twice but three times. The disciple who said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Matthew 26:35), later said, ” I don’t know the man!” (Matthew 26:72). This outspoken follower of Jesus, cowardly turned on his heels back the way he came; turning his back on Jesus.
How easy we remember the ugliness of Peter’s failures, quickly forgetting the beautiful totality of the outcome. The beauty in Peter’s life wasn’t about Peter at all; rather the immeasurable love, grace and forgiveness of God shown to him. The worst possible outcome was not the denial, but would have been the absence of return. But God, being so great in his love and mercy, encouraged Peter to turn back to Jesus and not walk away. Jesus later built the Rock, His church on Peter! Wow, what an amazing comeback for Peter through the power of God. We fail to see the love of God, when we only see the things in which He died for in others. Is it not our selves we see when looking at Peter? We all have denied Christ at one point or another, and many times we deny Him daily. God never asked us to be perfect, so why do we demand it in others? Perception through our own eyes fogs our vision, unable to see Christ’s clear, 20/20, loving view of them. The Bible says to encourage each other, considering your brother better than yourself; to love as Christ has loved us, forgiving each other as he has forgiven us. Oh, how wonderful the world would be if we encouraged each other in the gifts God has given those around us, building them up; rather than creating blueprints for their reconstruction and renovation, tearing them down. How is it that Christ saw all that was evil in us and still died for us? The answer is simple; He loved us.
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,