My God Has Taught Me A Lesson
When I was in grad school, I was housed in a dorm reserved for graduate students and students with families. This meant that I met lots of international students, including a Nigerian family. I don’t remember their family name (Don’t judge. It was a long time ago). But I do remember what the husband’s name meant when translated into English. Here’s the translation: My Friend Has Taught Me A Lesson. According to the husband, his father named him that because a friend he had loaned money never paid him back. Well … My God Has Taught Me A Lesson.
I’m not supposed to drink soft drinks, but I like them, especially Co-Colas as they are called here in the deep South USA. I recently shook off my Co-Cola addiction and have been Coke free for months. Then I backslid. Drank a Coke and therein lies my lesson. But first the back story.
I have been ministering off and on with three different women who have husbands addicted to behaviors that—when it comes right down to it—release the ladies from their marriage covenants. Of the three, only one is moving on; one is enabling the behavior (in the name of Jesus); and the other is waffling around. As things have dragged along with no apparent progress, I have become exasperated. Ok. Enough back story.
After drinking—and thoroughly enjoying my Co-Cola and the subsequent buzz—I forgot about it, other than noticing that I was visiting the toilet an awful lot. Then I went to bed and my bladder started to howl. That’s when I realized that I might not ought to drink Cokes because I might be allergic to something in them. Simultaneously, I was CRAVING a Coke.
So, on the one hand, my bladder was begging me to repent and on the other hand my whatever it is that craves was alternating between demanding I drink more Coke and grieving that an allergy might mean never having another Coke. Nowhere in the midst of that conflict did the horrible consequences—that I was experiencing at that VERY moment—have any power to affect my craving.
Here is the lesson, and it’s straight from the mouth of Lord Jesus. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1). The Greek word translated judge is krino which means to judge with condemnation. It’s the attitude that I would never be that stupid because I am better than you.
Well. Take a look at Stupid here, because I was intensely craving what was causing me extreme misery. Consequences were not a deterrent.
So, it all boils down to this. It is by the grace of God ONLY that I am not caught in the traps that my people are struggling in. It sure isn’t because I have better sense than anyone else.
As soon as the Lord made it clear, I repented for my condemning attitude toward others—those with relationship addictions as well as other addictions. Hallelujah! My craving stopped, my bladder settled down and I went to sleep.
Jesus warned us. He said if we judge with condemnation that we would be judged. How are we judged? We do the same things we judge other people for doing. Oh. It may look a bit different. But an addiction is an addiction. A hurtful behavior is a hurtful behavior.
Let’s face it. We have all judged. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Let’s ask the Lord to open our eyes to how we have judged, and when He does, let’s be quick to repent.
Father God, Maker of heaven and earth, I ask you to keep me safe from making condemning judgments (krino). Open my eyes to any past judgments I have made; to any current judging I am doing, and protect me from making future condemning judgments.
I repent right now for ever believing that I am better than anyone else. For thinking that I would never fall into the traps that have caught other people. It is ONLY by Your grace that I am free. Thank you for setting me free and thank you for keeping me free.
In the name of Jesus, I repent.
Blessings and hugs,
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