Whatever! Week 3



This post appeared first on Jacqueline Heider’s blog Dancing in the Rain at jacquelineheider.com

Thoughts of Others

Grace! Grace! Grace! I need it today and everyday! What about you?

If you’ve ever been in need of grace, then you understand how to extend grace to others. If you’ve never had a great need for grace, however, you can’t truly extend it.

This quote is from my friend Christin. It’s become her new motto. She knows how to extend grace because she’s experienced the depth of its love, peace, comfort, and freedom. Did I just say freedom? Yes! There is freedom not only in the extension of grace but also in the reception of it.

What, you may be asking, does grace have to do with the topic of our Bible Study? Everything!

Our topic this week is “thoughts of others.” This can go either way, girls. It can mean the thoughts we think about others, or the thoughts others think about us. Either way, there is some major grace that needs to cover these kinds of thoughts AND there are some things we’ve got to begin to “four-eight” with regard to this topic.

I’m going to get up on my little soapbox for a moment and just vent about this topic a bit. May I just say that I get sooooo weary of hearing some of the judgmental and comparative thoughts that come out of women’s mouths.

Things such as …

“She’s a stay-at-home mom so she’s living the easy life”  (Are you kidding me!?!)

or in contrast …

“Bless her heart, she’s a working mom.  No wonder her house is a mess and her children act the way they do. I mean, she’s never home.”  (Really??!!)

How about this one, “Can you believe she wears those expensive clothes? Surely she could spend her money more wisely.”

Another …

“Eating organic is so much healthier. I don’t know why she doesn’t insist that her family does.”

The opposite is equally as annoying …“Eating organic is ridiculous. Why would she spend her money on that!”

From homeschooling, private, or public education to driving a mini van, SUV, or sports car could we all just agree on a few things?

  • Everyone is different!
  • God calls people to different things, at different times, and for different reasons and that’s OK!!!
  • Just because I don’t do it the way you do it, doesn’t mean my way is wrong!
  • Sometimes (most of the time) it’s just not my business!

Ok, let me jump down off my soapbox now and get back to business.

So far we’ve talked about nothing that is “sinful” just things that are different. So what if somone you know sins, then what? Then can you judge? NO! In all of these instances, whether they are simple differences or sins, this is where the grace comes in.  Extend it, receive it, LIVE IN IT!

We must, when tempted to judge or compare, begin to “four-eight” this stuff instead of falling into the sin trap of judging or comparing.

Ask yourself, “Is it true? Is it just? Is it honorable?  Is it pure? Is it lovely?
Is it commendable, excellent or worthy of praise?

Look at the following verses and note what they say about making comparing and judging.

Who’s approval should we be concerned about? (See Galatians 1:10 and 2:20)

  • Do you struggle with thinking ungodly thoughts about others? (comparing or judging)

Remember Mark 12:30-31

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

  • Have you been hurt by someone’s unfair words to you?

Remember Colossians 3:23-24 which says,

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Extend grace to someone today, friend. Love others, don’t compare or judge. Don’t let pride destroy your relationships. Think on that which is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them … – Romans 12:3-6