Clanging cymbals

 

I Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

I have read this scripture many times over the years. But recently as a friend of mine was hurting in her anxiety and depression, and I was shouting out God’s goodness and how He pulled me through, I realized in a moment that I was not loving her. I was not meeting this friend where she was but trying to shout out how the Lord pulled me from the pit.  I wanted to see this same glorious victory in her life,  but there is a time when if all I am doing is shouting out joy, joy, joy… I can be a clanging cymbal.

It may not be comforting to a friend that is watching her life crumble around her, to hear,  ” I have been there, this is what you need to do!”
While I do believe in encouraging and edifying my sister and I do believe it is so important to sing the praises of my Jesus when He has shown me His joy,
There is a time and place for it.
Love is patient, kind, does not boast, not-self seeking. Am I being kind, patient and not self seeking when I want to hurry my friend through her burdens rather than walking by her side? I want her to be full of joy, but is that because I am uncomfortable with her hurting?

The word says there is a time and season for everything. There is a time to mourn but JOY comes in the morning. Am I rushing my friend to her morning, before God has completed the work in her? Am I a discouragement, when she is not seeing the joy that I am proclaiming and as she sits there while I am dancing about blind to her sorrow?

If I had been a clanging cymbal to you my friend in the past as I rejoice in my joy. I am sorry. I want you to have joy in abundance, and I want to share how I reached it, but in your time, when you are ready. God has begun a work in you, and He will complete it, in HIS time.

Lord grant me the wisdom to know when to be quiet and walk beside and when to SHOUT out your glorious JOY. For I don’t want to be a clanging harsh noise to the ears of those around me, but a song of praise stirring within the spirit of those hurting. Help me to know what is needed in the moment.

 

 

Different but still loved

I have three boys. My oldest tends to share characteristics with both my younger boys. However my younger two boys are complete opposites.Image

 

This is the side of the room that belongs to my slightly OCD son who is into sports and extremely organized. He is not a great fan of video games and would like to be physically active most of the time. He fights hard for his grades, with much effort and care. He will erase his homework over and over until the work is just perfect.

 

Image

This is my other sons side of the room. He is what the world would label ADD. He is not athletic in the slightest, he prefers books, intellectual aspirations and using his grande range of vocabulary. He gets great grades without trying and has little interest in perfection. He likes playing video games often. To get him to be physically active, is as bad as pulling teeth.

 

These two boys of mine are completely different and completely loved. I could not imagine my world without either one of them. I am extremely blessed. They are compassionate, loving and use their many talents and gifts uniquely. 

They are a small picture in the larger scale of life. Think of these two in the world around us. They are as different as night and day, as are the children of the Lord.

We are all equally loved, equally thought of and He is a jealous God that wants time with each and every one of His children.

He sees our differences… he already knows them… He created us uniquely for His purpose.

I know it is common that if someone doesn’t think the way we do, or see the world the way we do, or take action the way we would our hackles go up. But that is not the Love of the Lord. The Lord gives us all free will, why must we try to force others into our box and into our way of thinking, judging and full of hatred. This hatred is tearing the country apart and often leaves Christians with a horrible reputation.

My son that is the neat freak gets a daily dose of learning how to live with another completely different than him. He used to go insane being in the same environment with his brothers mess. But he has learned how to help his brother in his weakness and love him for his differences. 

I am looking at these boys, as their example on how to show the love of Christ despite if they are driving us insane with their differences. Jesus called us to love one another. In these struggling times it is so easy to point the finger to the one with differences than us. But let us not forget that we are to love them, God holds them every bit as valuable.

Ephesians 4:2-3
 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.