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    Be Swift To Hear...

    Be Swift To Hear...

    Proverbs 18:13 (NKJV)
    He who answers a matter before he hears it,
    It is folly and shame to him.

    James 1:19-20 (NKJV)

    19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
    I was remembering an unpleasant encounter that occurred in my life a number of years ago. I was in the process of encouraging a young lady, about my son's age, at church because I found her crying. The Spirit of the Lord moved on me and my heart was filled with compassion. The auditorium was filled with teenagers her own age who were celebrating Jesus at a weekly church event. It was loud and very dark, so in order to comfort her, I brought her outside to the foyer. Off to one side to stay away from the traffic, I spoke quietly with her when I was called aside by two church's members. Their concern expressed to me was that I was speaking to this girl ALONE. It was a high traffic area with people milling by constantly and we were just a few feet away in full view and in no way hidden or secluded. It was my contention these two were way out of order and my response to them was that they should have offered to help minister to this distraught soul rather than stand idly on the side, criticizing me. At no time did these two members consider that child's need but viewed with contempt my 'private' speaking.

    This event reminded me of the many times I've witnessed this same kind of idle judgment and criticism being offered as advice by those who choose to judge by calling evil what others who are responding to an obvious need in ministry and restoration. It is their judgment that this person had no right to intervene or to make an assessment which, in their view, was akin to judgment and criticism.

    One thing I believe it is important for all the naysayers to consider. Would you want your wrong attitudes to be discovered and addressed here, on earth, while you have a chance to make a change or will you rather have all these wrong attitudes to be shown while standing before the Lord at His great White Throne Judgment? We are ALL called to provoke each other to righteousness. This DOES involve the judgment of what men do but not judging the person themselves.

    Remember that phrase Jesus spoke of, "You shall know them by their fruits." If He says we can know someone by their fruits, then what exactly is Jesus calling for us to do? Are we not JUDGING them according to their fruits. Galatians 6:1 says, "If you see your brother overtaken by a fault, you who are spiritual should restore them..." This action of loving restoration INVOLVES judging their fruit, paying attention to what is going on in their lives and seeing and hearing the wrong attitudes they are expressing. Love sees and love seeks to restore. All too often there are those who stand on the sidelines, not doing anything, not stepping in to restore but are standing on the sidelines ready to criticize those who do step in to restore. What we see when others, who are critical and judging those who recognize the needs, address them for the purpose of restoration, is PRIDE. Pride is nothing more than having confidence in your own perspective because you consider you are right. The difference between a prideful perspective and a righteous perspective is in the attitude of heart by which you see. Pride is critical because they do not measure up to its own standard while the loving/humble heart's perspective is what they see breaks their heart and motivates them toward healing and restoration.

    It is time that we, as the church, remove ourselves from PRIDE and humble ourselves before God and choose to be one of those who are solution oriented with tender hearts towards those who oppose themselves. Let us walk in the same compassion and mercy we expect others to walk in and don't just stand on the sidelines criticizing those who are willing to do something about what they are seeing. It is time that we jump into that river and save the drowning man instead of debating the issue of what someone else should do while standing along the banks of that river doing nothing while that man drowns.

    You all may consider what I am saying may sound harsh but consider the way Jesus opposed Simon Peter when Peter opposed Jesus' desire to go to Jerusalem and suffer & die. Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get behind Me Satan..." Imagine if that were you that Jesus said this to. Would you feel that He too was being too harsh or judgmental? Or would you consider that perhaps there was something you actually did that warranted this kind of response from your Master? Think about this for moment what Peter had to endure when just moments before he was being praised and now this AND in front of the others. Doesn't Jesus care that Peter was just made an embarrassment in front of his brethren? Notice how Peter said nothing but just withdrew.

    This was a hard pill to swallow but swallow it he must if he desires to continue on with the Lord. And so must we, at times, have to swallow a bitter pill and that, for our own good. For just like Peter, we do not always have our minds and hearts set on God's will & purposes but are earthly minded and find ourselves opposing what God is doing requiring Him to correct us for our own good. Painful but necessary. This is the chastening that brings the peaceable fruit of righteousness. So let us be quick to hear (by the Spirit) and slow to judge.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    Item Reviewed: Be Swift To Hear... Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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