Focus first on your need to change, not on hers or his. It may be that your spouse is sinning against you far more than you are against him or her. But you will not give an account for that to the Lord Jesus. You will give an account for your responses to it. That is the great battle. Will you change?
– John Piper
Wow. Conviction all over me as God uses this quote, posted on a fellow sister’s blog, to take what I posted about last night a step further.
I realize that this quote specifically speaks of marriage, but in all reality, the truth in the second half of this quote applies to us all, in every acquaintanceship, every friendship, every family relationship, and every marriage. Every-single-one. We are not held accountable for the wrong things they do — we are held accountable for how we respond in every moment of that relationship.
Pride must disintegrate as we move forward in life. The less pride we carry, the easier it is to respond in humility and with grace. I suppose this is one of those things that we will never master while we are in our mortal bodies. Only the Holy Spirit can enable us to overcome the pride that so easily and naturally rises in us. Though we will never perfect this — it is something that we must strive for, always.
My dear friend whom I referenced earlier addressed this; that we should not try to remove the speck from our fellow brother’s eye before removing the plank from our own. (Matthew 7:3) I agreed with her words wholeheartedly. How often do we say or do things that are out of line while trying to correct someone else? More so, how often have I had negative thoughts about someone because of their decisions or actions? How is this edifying to the Body of Christ? It is not. I cannot control the person, but I CAN (by the power of the Spirit) control my RESPONSE, and THAT is what I am going to be held accountable for on the day I stand before the King of Kings.
And — if you think about it, as the person to whom you aren’t judging…the one to whom you are so careful of every response to…the one who expects you to treat them like everyone else does…as he sees you responding differently, with grace and mercy, he will see Christ in you. You will be making eternal impacts on those lives, instead of causing destruction.
Which goes back to my last post. Love never gets different than a choice.
Love brings life. Pride brings death.