he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
In business, performance is the name of the game. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday, you are constantly being measured and compared with others. We see this in sports. To make room for someone else who is younger, stronger, and less expensive, people are traded or just given their unconditional release. We basically grow up in a world where our behavior is constantly being monitored and evaluated.
So, when people come together to form a faith community, some if not many of these same values are carried over from the world’s playbook into the Church. The result is another worldly system operating under the disguise of a faith community.
One such value is to solely focus on behavior. When you ask someone in your faith community “what saves you?”, the response hopefully is a quick Jesus Christ. However, when the person’s reply is anything else, then maybe one needs to investigate a little further to determine the person’s perspective and relationship with our Lord.
The behavior trap is when you totally focus on the behavior of a person without knowing the heart. A Believer walking with the Lord will express their relationship with the same humility and attitude as the Holy Spirit. However, when one doesn’t know the Lord, the only emphasis a person has is the outward appearance. Without knowing a person’s heart, one can quickly condemn another saint without justifiable evidence.
This is why we need not so quickly judge one another. The behavior is easily recognized. But the intent, purpose, and motive are much deeper. For example, when one sees a person’s driving substantially faster than the posted speed limit, one can quickly state they are speeding, but to judge them for their actions without all the facts is almost impossible to do. It is very possible, the person driving the car is a doctor rushing to a life-threatening moment. Or a parent rushing home to a tragic event, or and you can add any seriousness situation where even you would be doing the same. This doesn’t change the behavior; but does place motive behind the action.
When you truly realize our salvation is what Jesus did for us, and that he included us with Him in His relationship with Father God before we even knew Him, before we asked for forgiveness, before we were even born, puts his accomplishment into perspective. He chose us before the foundation of the world means before we raised one finger or even had one thought.
For now, behavior is all we initially recognize. It’s the starting point. But to effectively evaluate the situation you need to get to the heart of the matter. And that takes time. So remember, God is always working in the lives of those around us and the same grace God extends us is the grace we need to extend them.
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