Consider the Lilies..: My eye, my plank..   

Apr 3, 2013

My eye, my plank..

Have you ever heard God speak to you in that loud booming voice that you hear on all of the Ten Commandments movies?  You know, where the clouds part, the sun shines down, the earth trembles, and the voice of God is so powerful that it shakes you to your very core?
No?  Same here..

When I do hear His voice, it's more like a voice in my head..  My best friend Kathy describes it as God thinking for her..  She says "God thought it for me"..  I think that's a good way to put it..  
Anyway, God thought something for me a couple days ago..

At the beginning of the year I made a few goals for myself..  Not the typical resolutions that we usually declare on January first and then give up on by January seventh (even though I did quit smoking in January, but that was just a perk)..  No, my goals were personal..  Changes I wanted to make in my behavior, how I treated others, my role as a wife, friend, Christian, my relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, etc..
So everyday I pray about these things, asking God to help me to change, grow, whatever..  I have more win days than fail days but he funny thing is, my fail days are always because of the same things..  They are habitual..  Things that I have done for years and years..  Behaviors that are so ingrained in me that I honestly don't even think about them..  Until later when I realize that I did it again..  Then I become disapointed in myself and tend to beat myself up a little..

Well it happened again on Sunday and I became really frustrated..  So I prayed again..  Well, actually I yelled in a prayer-like manner..  I asked God "Why??  Why does this keep happening?  Please make me stop!"  Then in my head, I had a thought..  It wasn't my thought because it surprised me..  I heard in my head "Read James"..  I knew who it
was..  I knew right away..  I know that some people question it when they hear God..  Was that God, or was it me?  But I know..  When it's not Him I know..  I just know that I know, you know?  I have learned that when I have a thought and I have to ask "was that me or God?" that it was just me..  When it's God..  There is no doubt..  Ever..  I know..

So when He said "read James" I was confused..  I have read James..  Several times..  I know the book of James quite well..  So like an idiot I sort of argued..  "Lord, I have read James, you know I can even quote it!"  But then He thought something else for me..  
"Read it the right way"..

Then I knew..  Yes, I have read James so many times that I can quote it..  But I have never read it the way that God intended ..  I'm gonna ask you all a question, and I want you to answer honestly..  Have you ever read a book in the Bible and thought "Oh I wish John would read this!" or "Jane really needs to read this"..  We do it during church sermons too..  The pastor will say something and you immediately think "I really hope John (or Jane) heard that.."

We have all done it..  Matthew 7:5 seems to be a favorite of most Christians..  "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
That is the verse we throw at someone when they upset us or they say something about us that makes us mad..  But how often have we taken that verse and applied it to ourselves?  How often have we read that verse and said "Oh!  It's me! I'm the hypocrite!"..  Do you ever have a judgemental thought about someone and then say that verse to yourself?
Me neither..

I'm gonna be honest with you..  That's how I read James..  I read it and think of all the other people who should read it..  I do not read it as a lesson to myself..  So I read it..  The way God intended me to..  Wow, what a difference!  I had been praying, begging God to just make me stop!  Make me behave!  Make me act, think, and speak the way I should..  
But then I realized that God doesn't make us do anything..  We have to chose to do the right thing..  We have to chose to be obedient..  We have to chose to let Him help us..  I am sure that God could make us do anything he wants us to..  But that's not how He works..  God will help us, but we have to let him..  We can't just tell him what we want and how we want Him to fix it..  If we want His help, we have to do things His way..  The book of James tells me exactly how to make the changes that I want to make..  But I never saw that before because of the big whopping plank in my eye..


We need read His word the way He intended us to read it..  He gave us His word so that we would read it and apply it to our own lives..  Not as something to wave at everyone else to point out their mistakes and to make ourselves seem more righteous..  

The Word of God can and will change lives..  
But truly, how clearly can you read anything with a plank in your eye?


Linking up with

15 comments:

  1. Such a profound post...loved the title. James is one of my favorites. I'm guilty of thinking of others too. Call out post, lol. Nice visiting #DYWW!

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    1. Thanks! I'm really glad you like it!

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  2. Awesome post!!!!! Thank s for sharing :)
    I will be taking a closer look at the "plank" in my eye!!!

    Blessings!!
    Stacey

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    1. I have the feeling that I will be removing planks for years to come :)

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  4. Like this post! I really like when you wrote, "I just know that I know, you know?" Yep! That's how I know, too! There's just no questioning, when you know. Blessings to you. I will read James, again. Every time, I reread verses and chapters, I become more and more enlightened by His Word. I don't think we can ever read them enough. One year, I read the entire Bible, on purpose....Well, I didn't read it with an open heart, but a "I gotta' do this heart." I didn't get much. LOL! Still learning and enjoying every step, even in the midst of my trials. Blessings!

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    1. Oh I know! I had to outline the entire Bible by hand when I was going through theology school.. I got absolutely nothing from it. But when I read it because I want to, it's sooo much better!

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  5. Ren you are such an inspiration to me, love love love this post.

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  6. I love love love that you love it! Seriously!

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  7. This is awesome, and how I can relate Ren! No matter how many times I read a book in the bible, I can always grasp something that didn't stand out before or didn't have a direct meaning in my life. And it is always so amazing how God puts a verse into our hearts in His perfect timing! And yup; it is frustrating when we do the same things over and over again...but there is hope-ha!!

    Blessings and hugs sister,
    Denise

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    1. And hope is exactly what I have! Thanks for your comment :)

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  8. Ren, what an honest post. I loved it. I have so been there, and James is a convicting book to read no matter what stage of life we are in. I love the "God thought it for me" quote. I am so going to store that one for later use sometime. (Especially when explaining to my children how God talks to us) Thank you for sharing. Very inspiring.

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    1. I know it sounds generic to say "thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it".. But truly do! Thanks so much :)

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  9. HA...as always, I knew this was going to be good! :D Yes, we ALL have done it Ren! When we learn to go to church with the intent of making that spotlight shine on ourselves, then, we won't have time to think of who else should hear it, because we're busy cleaning our own hearts. I also love how you mentioned when we know God is talking. I know when I hear Him clear His throat(as if to say, umm, you know it's Me)...oh yes, that's a clear indication...lol! Thanks for dropping by and linking up Ren...have a blessed weekend my friend!

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    1. Thanks so much for hosting the link-up!

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Love your comments! Thanks so much!