All this is raw.
Bible study ended eight minutes ago, and I have got to do this before I move on with my night (and believe me, I had plans)!
I had the realization the other day - and was smugly ruminating in it - that I have a hard time trusting the sincerity of men, especially in spiritual matters. Sorry, guys. I thought I had dug a lot of that out of me while reading Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge.
Anyway, here's what Bible Study was about: Matt 7:1-6 - judging. (We're stepping through Joyce Meyer's Battlefield of the Mind.) And here's what hit me between the eyes: OFFENSE IS A CHOICE and WHAT I AM OFFENDED BY USUALLY HAS DEEP ROOTS IN WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT MYSELF.
A direct quote from my notes: " I want people o think/believe/know I am sincere - why I have so much trouble believing the sincerity of others."
I have a hard time not scoffing quietly in my heart when certain people pray aloud - people I must have at some point decided weren't holy enough! LORD, forgive me! I have been hard, non-receptive, untrusting and haughty. God, show me how to repent with meaning and have LOVE take root instead.
Prov. 4:23, "Above all else guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life."
And I wonder why things aren't going the way I'd plan (remember those big plans I mentioned - need some prayer if I'm actually going to follow through)! God, shut me up! Help me listen to others, not to talk, but to learn their heart - to accept them as human and faulty and beautiful. Talking is my job, but I have got to change the way I do it - am I speaking with utter (complete and vocal) love???
Love always believes the best in others (I Cor. 13: 4-8 - may my responses be with patience, kindness, not pride or boasting, without being rude or seeking something I want, rejoicing in truth, always protecting, always TRUSTING, always hoping, never defeated).