In recent days our country has gone wild judging whether Sarah Palin should have accepted the honor of running for Vice-President of the United States.
These are comments I have heard: She's a wife and mother, that should come first. She is not being submissive to her husband because she wants to be a leader. Her daughter is unmarried and pregnant, she must not be a good enough leader in her own family, how can she help lead a country. She has a Down's Syndrome child, she needs to be home with him. How can she balance motherhood and leadership? She's not fulfilling God's most high calling of being a mom. This list goes on and on.
My purpose in writing this post is not to make a political statement, though I am very impressed with Sarah Palin and the choice John McCain made in selecting her as a running mate. It is just evidence of how we judge what other's should or should not do. Who am I to judge what someone believes God is speaking to their heart?
I have been asking myself this very question frequently in recent months as I travel my own journey toward allowing God to fully develop His character in me. It has been my 'right' to judge others based upon my opinion of how things should be. Right? Wrong! I do not have a right to judge anyone.
"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you - who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:12
I absolutely love the book of James. It is probably my favorite when it comes to learning how to live a Godly life. It has taught me so much about living a life of love, trust, endurance, relationship and faith.
What does judging have to do with Grace? For me, it is only when I realize God's amazing grace given to me that I can learn not to judge. God reached His loving, gracious hand down to this lowly, sinful, helpless child of His and while extending His hand He also extended His Grace.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
I have taken great pride in being a perfectionist which has led me to a life of being judgmental. Ouch! That hurts. I thought perfectionism was a great trait. I have found it is only another word for judgmental. Ouch again. What is God doing? Cleansing the heart of his daughter.
It is God's grace that has saved me from the eternity I truly deserve. It is not by all the seemingly 'perfect' things I have done. It is a gift from a Father who loves his little girl. I cannot boast in my accomplishments because they mean nothing. But I can boast in a God who loves not only me but all of the children in this world.
Therefore, how can I judge what someone else chooses to do with their life? Whether it is Sarah Palin accepting her nomination, a child getting a tattoo, an employer choosing to fire someone, a friend going back to work when her baby is only 4 weeks old, a Christian wanted a naval piercing, a neighbor getting drunk everyday, a spouse using hurtful words, an unplanned pregnancy, someone choosing to leave their marriage for another, or a thousand other examples of things I may have an opinion about, I still have no right to judge.
Believe me, if asked, I will give my opinion, but it is the other person who will one day stand before their maker and answer for their choices, as will I. We all have made and will continue to make choices in our lives that others will think are wrong. We are all born of a sinful heritage attempting to make it in a sinfilled world. It is only by God's grace that we have been given an opportunity to have a joyous eternity in His presence. Everyday I make it my goal to listen to God's voice and make the best decisions based on what I believe He is speaking to me. I believe that ultimately my 'greatest high calling' is being an obedient, loving daughter of the Highest King.
Allowing God's grace to penetrate my heart is bringing freedom to love people in my life who are just as imperfect as I am. I leave you today with one final scripture.
"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's Grace". Acts 20:24
I pray in my writings, my words, my work and mostly my relationships that others can see God's grace extended not only to me but through me.
May it a grace-filled day!