Lately I have been seeing the places in my heart where I fall short extremely clear. For the past few years Sunday school has been my favorite part of the week next to bible study. Sunday school is, in my opinion, where we go to get a heart check. For me the heart check came from Romans 2:1-12.
In chapter one Paul talks about how the world is in a dangerous, unrighteous state and in doing so God has turned them over to themselves.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
He goes on to discuss the consequences for their actions and for a moment the spotlight is off the church, whom the letter was intended for. For a moment we are breathing easy because the UV light is not examining the contents of our heart. But then he turns all the pointing fingers back around.
2 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.
To this we say ouch!
It’s easy to magnify someone else’s problem but its another to check yourself. When we enter the place of judge, even if it is silent judgement, we are saying that God can not possibly fix that issue for that person. The things that we shake our heads at usually are the secret things we may have dealt with before grace found us. We did not find grace but grace spotted us and decided we could be clean. We didn’t do anything to deserve it, it is free, unmerited. Grace was God’s idea and we in our self-righteousness hog it all for ourselves when we cast judgement. I myself have found myself looking at others and shaking my head.
While in Sunday school I felt an extreme discomfort after the lesson and it forced me to turn and examine myself.
Quick note, this was one of the worst possible moments for me to realize I needed to do a heart check. I am a worship leader and the flow of this portion of the service is dictated by how God’s spirit comes in to move. These types of issues are what cause worship to be dry, seeming extremely insincere. At the moment I was holding iniquity, the sin no one can see.
It’s funny how the small things blare the loudest. If I had to decided to let it go unchecked I would have not experienced God the way that I am used to. More than depriving myself I was also risking the experience of others. I knew instantly that I could not proceed without asking for forgiveness. I personally felt that I could not properly display the spirit of God within me while in my heart I knew I held people prisoners for what they did, forgetting that I was once the same way.
The entire point was that I forgot grace. The thing about grace as we are all found in the same way, guilty. This helped me to realize that we can not forget that not one was clean before God, that is why he had to come himself through Jesus to right our wrong. I am so glad that God does not hold a grudge because the moment I repented the spirit of God swept through in a mighty way and was above what I expected.
Thank God that he is the only fair judge!