Even to this day I can still remember something the Holy Spirit said to me one morning while I was having my devotions. “Terry, the problem is not with them. The problem is with you.” Let me tell you about what had happened and how the Holy Spirit helped me to get my heart right.
A spiritual leader I knew had treated a friend of mine in the wrong way. I reacted to their decision by closing my spirit towards them. To be honest, I found it hard to even speak to them. I justified my actions by condemning them for what they had done. But then one morning I read these words from the book of James –
James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Perhaps the part that convicted me the most is what is found in verse 17. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” To be even more specific, the part that convicted me the most was just one word – ‘open.’ As I read the word ‘open’ I realized that my closed spirit revealed that I was just as sinful as the person I was condemning. Though I thought that I was justified in being angry with them, my closed spirit towards them revealed that I was not being led by God, but rather by my own personal agenda.
That morning I bowed my head and asked God to forgive me. Then I forgave that person. I realized that it was not my job to judge the world. It was my job to be a vessel that God could use to help bring others to Him. Therefore, rather than condemning this individual, I decided that I would pray for them.