At All Times-Psalm 34:1

May 27, 2012

Judgement: The Zeal Zapper

Filed under: Personal Reflections — by Whitney Standlea @ 8:31 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Last week I wrote a post about dealing with the competitive thoughts we can have toward our husbands when they don’t do things our way. I shared that I often pit myself against my sweetheart, becoming grouchy or bitter over what I see as his weaknesses. I quickly lose the ability to love and serve him, worship God, and walk in joy. The solution: Serve Jesus! If I stop focusing on serving my hubby, and start focusing on serving Jesus, I can really begin to serve and love. When I do things for my husband out of a love for God, I never lack zeal.

Walking forward with this same truth, I want to share with you some thoughts on judging and criticizing your brothers and sisters within the church. Those of you who are involved in church ministry may deal with this quite a bit. Judgment toward other believers can really zap our zeal for the Lord.

We had “Ministry Emphasis Week” at our church this past week, and my pastor preached through Romans 12. Even as he was speaking, the (rather frequent) thoughts I had been having about serving in the church started to bombard me again. Judgmental thoughts. Those thoughts that over-estimate the amount of time I spend “ministering,” while questioning the motives of other brothers and sisters for not being more involved. Can you believe me when I tell you that I actually sat there in the pew thinking about how So-and-So could help out more with Such-and-Such if they weren’t probably spending so much time in front of the computer or sleeping in everyday or so selfish or so…? Not only was I judging them, but I was making sweeping assumptions about the lifestyles of some folks I barely even know!

Part of me is doing all of this to feel better about how much time I invest in the church. It sure does make me think I’m something special when my husband and I are working harder than everybody else. It’s amazing what mental gymnastics I will go through to justify this unreal perception just to give myself a mental pat on the back.

And what good does it do? I work myself up into this unpleasant state I mentioned before and it drains me of all my joy when serving. Instead of walking into the nursery with a joyful spirit, ready to serve and love the children around me, I’m bitter about how many times I’ve had to work while there are other women who are not in there to help.

The answer to this judgmental mess is simpl: Serve Jesus! Although it is in the context of judging one’s convictions before God, I love the truth Paul uses in Romans 14:4:

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Doesn’t that just put everything in to perspective? I master is Christ.  I report to Christ. I am accountable to Christ for my actions and how I have used the gifts He has given me. My brothers and sisters in the Body are not reporting to me for how they have used their gifts that God has given them. Those brothers and sisters of mine at church are servants of Christ.

Are you are tired and weary from active, extensive service in the church? How much more zeal and joy can you have if your focus is on serving your Lord, Jesus Christ, rather than on serving others or wishing they were serving with you?

Do you question others’ choices in how they serve the Lord? Let us not forget that God has given different gifts within the body and that each one is accountable to God for the use of those unique gifts. Focus on your gifts and be a faithful steward of what God has entrusted you with!

If you are walking a self-absorbed life, lacking in zeal for the Body, how much energy and motivation can you have to serve others than to know that you are accountable to Jesus Christ for the gifts, the time, and the resources that He has given you ?

Select verses from Romans 12 (ESV), emphasis added

            [1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. … [4] For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, [5] so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. [6] Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…

[9] Let love be genuine. … [10] Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. [11] Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. …[13] Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

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1 Comment »

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