2 February 2011 (Revee/Shavu'ot)|
Day #323, 5934 AM
Cut Out the Darkness
When Unbelievers Judge or Flatter You
Many believers fall into the trap of believing that their spiritual maturity is a function of how others respond or react to them. They erroneously believe that if the people they love respond positively, then they are somehow 'spiritual', but if they react negatively, then that proves they are not mature. Many, in consequence of believing this lie, suffer under self-condemnation and the judgments of others when they do not have an effectual relationship with parents, spouses, neighbours, or work associates. The way other people respond is simply a function of their maturity or immaturity, not yours. The only may you can measure your own spiritual maturity is the way you respond to others.
Yah'shua (Jesus) very clearly taught that if men hated Him, that they would hate us too, that He brought a sword to divide, and that even families would be destroyed because of Him:
None of this is to in any way excuse the carnal behaviour of believers but it is to say that believers will be persecuted, disliked, slandered, and blamed when they have done little or nothing to bring it about. Therefore the behaviour of others toward you is not a reliable indicator of whether your life is spiritually sound or not! Of course, sometimes they may be right, and we have to be prepared to respond appropriately to that, but the behaviour of others can never be taken as a general indicator of our spirituality or lack of it.
"Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved" (Matt.10:21-22, NKJV).
Paul asks believers if light and darkness can fellowship together. Now whilst some who are in darkness are seeking the light, whom we must guide, there are always those (the majority) who love the darkness and hate those in the light, some of them are alas family members. We cannot possibly allow ourselves to be judged by them, nor must we cultivate a sensitivity within ourselves of their disapproval of us and think we should somehow respond self-critically to that. Those who are in the dark are guided and pressed by demons to deliberately destabilise, hurt and, if possible, destroy believers. The reverse is also true - beware of those in darkness who speak well of you!
In other words, we are not to listen to those in darkness who either condemn us or praise us and we are certainly not to measure our spirituality by what they say - ever! If we want to know whether we are spiritual or mature, then ask a spiritual or mature believer to tell you!
"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26, NKJV).
I know this is especially hard if you have a spouse who is living in darkness. John Wesley had a wife who was constantly opposed to him, was condemning of his work and refused to live in harmony with her husband. Though he did not stop loving her, neither did he allow himself to take all the blame for what was wrong between them or cease in his ministry.
Let us do the same!