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Elijah’s List posted this recently.
WOW! Heart check!!!
Seriously though, take a minute and ponder that.
When I pondered…I thought of the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. When Screwtape tells Wormwood to focus the patient’s attention on petty things while he was at church. So the patient wouldn’t focus on the Word and how it applies to himself.
Judas did focus on the petty. The negative. And he remained a sceptic despite seeing miracles right before his eyes. He didn’t read about the miracle of the fish and bread feeding 5,000. He actually ate the bread and fish! He didn’t read about blind eyes being opened, he watched it happen.
Truthfully I feel bad for Judas. He didn’t enjoy His life. He clearly didn’t like himself. Seriously. Judas was with Jesus Himself for 3 years, and never actually absorbed anything about who Jesus was. Jesus was, is, and will always be love personified.
Who spends 3 solid years with Jesus, and comes out worse than where he started?
Truthfully…a lot of people.
What? Why? Who? Sacrilege!!
I know. Because I was one.
I confessed Jesus as my Savior at 16. And promptly tried to be perfect (as in without flaw) and do all the right things. I focused on behavior and looking the part.
Nothing reached my heart.
I couldn’t be perfect. And it frustrated me. My life didn’t change. No miracles happened in my life. And I was disappointed.
I ended up flipping around and going absolutely in the opposite direction. I became more critical. More judgmental. I loved less.
And it took a good 7 years before I gave it another shot. At 16, I shoved the Word at people…but at 25 I started applying the Word inward. I began to deal with my heart issues. My broken places began to heal. It was a process that still continues. It’s a day to day walk.
I can tell you that it’s much easier to point fingers and throw rules at people than it is to love them. It’s easier to criticize, scoff & judge.
But…if you take that pointing the finger and judging everyone path. You won’t heal. You won’t grow.
I think that’s what happened to Judas. I think he allowed his natural skeptic to dismiss miracles. He chose not to receive the love and teaching from Jesus. He chose not to heal and grow.
We have a choice too. Perspective and attitude are everything. Being open isn’t alway easy. Neither is change. Not for me. Not for you. Not for the disciples either.
Let’s be real…the 12 disciples are like us. They screwed up. They didn’t always understand. They acted without thinking. They lost their tempers.
But the difference between Judas and the other 11 is that the 11 grew and changed. They applied what Jesus taught them and walked it out.
Were the perfect? Um…definitely not. And neither are we. Neither are your leaders. We are all human. Doing our best. We are all given a choice.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT
Judas got to choose too. Unfortunately we all know how that worked out. (Spoiler alert…it can’t get much uglier).
Judas was bitter. I don’t want to be bitter, but some days I see myself heading in that direction.
Judas was a cynic. I don’t want to be an eye rolling cynic, but sometimes I am.
Judus had a greedy, selfish & negative outlook. Sometimes I do too.
I don’t want to be a complainer or a gossiper either. But some days I am.
So this is a heart check for me. To go back to Jesus on the rough days. The days I’m more Judas-like than Jesus-like and ask Him to show me what is going on in my heart and head so I can deal with the root of it and have a better attitude and perspective.
Especially with all the chaos in my life right now…I need more Jesus time. More worship. More Word. And less judgmental attitude. Less pessimism.
Point to ponder while you wander…..
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” I Corinthians 13:6
Delight here refers to someone who is euphoric or overjoyed. Evil refers to an injustice or something that is bad. Rejoice is the same word as delight. It’s about being pumped for your life about seeing the truth prevail.
This verse is a serious heart check: What’s your reaction to something bad happening to someone you don’t like or someone who has hurt you? How about when something good happens to that person?
We’ve all been hurt. But doing a happy dance when someone else’s world gets rocked or their ship is sinking is unacceptable. It is also not okay to be stomping your feet and screaming about how unfair it all is when someone else’s life is sailing smooth.
Love says we are to encourage those who are down and pray for them. Love says we are to rejoice when others are blessed.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Matthew 5:44-46