• Brenda Schaefer

LEARN IT * LIVE IT * LOVE IT!



LEARN IT!

“FAULT-FINDING IS NOT A CALL TO CRITICISM...

IT’S A CALL TO PRAYER!”

“Did anyone else hear that?” I thought to myself as I snapped my neck and looked up from my Bible as my pastor went on with his message! I am not sure that he even knew the power of what he had just shared! I don’t know if anyone else heard those words, but like an arrow shot from a drawn bow, they sunk deep into my spirit and stuck there!

Even now as I reflect on those words I am challenged to not get stuck into a pattern of finding fault in others. Because let’s be honest, that’s EASY! ANYONE can find fault in SOMEONE! I have discovered it’s far more difficult to pray for someone rather than criticize them.

Part of the problem with finding fault is that it assumes, presumes, or speculates something that may or may not be true about someone, and then makes a judgment about them. It can easily lead the way to unfairly stereotyping people into a category based on the external observations, personal opinions, preferences, and offenses of the one that is finding fault. If we choose to remain in that attitude, it doesn’t take long to think the worst about someone. It will close the door to consider the other person and their life experiences as an individual. YET, we want our thoughts, opinions and feelings to be considered when we find ourselves being judged by the same criteria.

As I have been praying and thinking about all that has been going on this last year, and seeing that there is plenty of fear, confusion, and uncertainty for a whole host of reasons. It has been troubling to hear harsh and judgmental words so quickly spoken by so many. It’s as though patience, facts, truth, and honesty have no place in our public arena today and are no longer tolerated in our conversations, especially if you disagree with those who only want to be heard without offering the truth or viable solutions. It is heartbreaking to see how this is tearing relationships apart and dividing us at every societal level.

The concerns of our day are both vast and real and will not only affect millions of people in the here and now, but our children’s children in generations to come. The truth is: There never has been and never will be a perfect culture. There will always be the need for forgiveness of past generation’s failures, but they can serve us well if we are willing to learn from and avoid making those same mistakes. It is up to each of us individually to not let the battle we are in bring out the worst in us by being prideful, hateful, unforgiving, and divisive.

There is a better way and it starts with looking up! God has given us the gift of intellect and reason as well as skills and talents that can help us to meet the challenges of our day and enable us to solve problems, repair damages, and create solutions! We have been given opportunities to love sacrificially, to forgive and be forgiven so that we can build bridges in our relationships rather than burn them!


LIVE IT!

We can CHOOSE!

  • An attitude of gratitude and of giving thanks!

*It is powerful and effective at moving us from a critical heart to a grateful one! It’s also something that is easy to overlook or surrender when we are under great pressure.

*Let our thoughts, words, and deeds build God’s goodness into ourselves and others.

We can LEARN!

  • What lessons can we learn by knowing THE TRUTH of the past?

*Searching out the truth in history from times, events, and cultures of the past can be what will teach us the most about other people, about ourselves and what matters most to us.

*It can help us in the decisions that we make now and about what we will leave for others who will come after us.

We can PRAY!

  • What we pray about we begin to care about!

We can let the problems that are weighing on us become a prayer.

*Pray for the people involved with making decisions that affect us the way that we would want them to pray for us.

*Pray for God to grant us grace, wisdom, and discernment in how to navigate difficult times.

*Pray for strength, courage, and encouragement to do the right thing even when it is hard.

*Pray for faith to see God’s goodness in ourselves and others.

*Pray for creative ideas and solutions to help rather than hurt.



We must not let the circumstances that we are living in define us as a person or steal our joy. If we remain in unforgiveness it will cause us to be ungrateful! Let’s not lose sight of or forget to be THANKFUL for the good things that have been done that we are the beneficiaries of!


LOVE IT!

Lots of changes, challenges, unknowns, and opportunities come our way each and every day! Some of these things will force us to engage in difficult conversations with negative people, whether we want to or not. When we are faced with those moments, the question for us to settle in our own hearts and minds is:

HOW WILL WE RESPOND?

  1. Find fault in them

  2. Criticize them

  3. Pray for them

Personally, I think the answer for me comes from a question:

How do I want to be treated?

(Just for the record - I want to be prayed for so that God will correct me!)


I have learned that when I find fault in people or criticize people - I make myself a judge! When I try to put myself as The Judge in the judgment seat - I am guilty of a trespass against God, who is the One, True and Righteous Judge! It serves me well to remember:

“FAULT-FINDING IS NOT A CALL TO CRITICISM...

IT’S A CALL TO PRAYER!”

LEARN IT * LIVE IT * LOVE IT!





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