Tag: actions

Intentions and Actions

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I heard something a long time ago that is probably appropriate for today’s world. 

Are you ready for this?

We love to judge people by their actions, and yet demand they judge us by our intentions. 

“Here’s what I meant…”

“Let me explain to you what I was thinking…”

“I realize what it looked like, or sounded like, but that wasn’t what I was saying…”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Give them the benefit of the doubt”?

It implies taking into consideration, as you are gathering the facts you’ll use to pass judgment upon someone, that it’s impossible to know everything about someone; their actions AND their motives.

Notice I said “impossible”.

I’ll admit I have been as guilty as anyone; judging and sentencing someone I “know” is as guilty as sin.

But I could be missing something important.

Jesus said something that just might save you and I a lot of heartache and trouble; IF we take heed.

“For you will be treated as you treat others.  The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” (Matthew 7:2 NLT)

The standard. The rule. The measuring stick. Used by one for all.

“I know what I see and hear. Therefore, because I saw you do… and say… you are guilty.”

So, with that “understanding”, your next move is to sentence the criminal. This is done in a number of ways:

1. Belittling

2. Demeaning

3. Ignoring

4. Ostracizing

5. Gossiping

6. Physical attacks

But is that the way YOU want to be treated? Are YOU ready to be tethered to the same leash you want others to be tied to? 

It’s not a good idea.

You see, there’s only One Who knows everything about everyone.

And neither you, nor I, are that person.

We are told throughout the scriptures to judge with righteous judgment.

However, most people, myself included, have an extremely hard time judging one’s actions apart from any personal bias. 

Again, there’s only One Who can.

So the next time you build a case against someone, stop and think. Is it possible you may have missed something in the way you interpreted their actions, heard their conversation, or read their writings? Would YOU want someone to draw and quarter you based on the same information?

What would Jesus do?

It All Begins With A Seed

20130702-233354.jpgIt all began with a seed. How long the seed was in the ground, only God knows. But it was there, just waiting for the right time, the perfect time, to make its grand appearance. Once it started to grow, there would be little to stop it.

A tightly wound, thin shaft of green pushed through the hard, dry soil, signaling new growth; new life. At least that’s what it looked like. Pretty green leaves, much like those around it. Ah, yes, it will fit just perfectly with everything else.

Soon, though, the beauty dies and you see the plant for what it is. A dandelion! A weed! A plant that can ruin the best kept lawns. In fact, a plant that can affect whole neighborhoods! By the time the plant withers, it can produce some 200 seeds; multiplying itself some 200 times. All it takes is a little wind, like someone picking it from the ground and blowing on it. Incredible!

And to think…it all began with a seed!

Our thoughts are like seeds. The things we think about, words we meditate on, dwell upon, are seeds of future beauty. Or, they can be like weeds, destroying beauty, affecting neighborhoods, families, relationships.

Seeds grow into words. All of life is affected by words. Words have the power of life and death. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21) Words can create friendships, heal relationships, or cause turmoil and discord. Words can affect nations, leading to war or peace.

You and I are the caretaker of our mind. We determine which seeds, or thoughts, are allowed to be planted in us. We choose which ones are allowed to stay and grow.

If you’re not crazy about the life you’re living, or if your life isn’t blessed with God’s Presence, you’d better check what you’re planting, or what you’ve allowed to grow. Maybe you need to burn out the old field and start over with good seed. Or, maybe you should pray for a “crop failure.”

Because it all begins with a seed.

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