by Alycia Morales
Have you ever been standing in a line at Walmart and noticed the way someone was dressed or the choice of magazine they were browsing?
Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation at church, thinking you’d discovered a juicy tidbit you needed to share with Sister Sally right away?
Have you ever had an argument with your spouse and allowed your thoughts to wander off the marriage path?
Have you ever done something you regretted and beat yourself up over it for the next ten years of your life, never letting go and letting God’s peace into your heart?
Have you ever heard someone say, “Don’t read between the lines”? Maybe they’ve told you to read between the lines. “Try to figure it out for yourself.” Did you know that the Bible says …you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other (1 Corinthians 4:6)? In other words, don’t read between the lines.
Throughout the Word of God, we’re warned not to rely on the wisdom of this world but to seek out God’s wisdom.
Our over-thinking (thinking beyond what is written) puffs us up with self-knowledge and worldly thoughts. It’s in those moments that we get the gospel confused with our own ideas. Is that me or God? I don’t know anymore.
And we judge. Ourselves. Each other. We become critical in our thinking. Suspicious. Defensive. We become the judge. Instead of Jesus, the only One who will judge all (John 5:22).
We elevate ourselves (and others who think like us) to a status above others, higher than we should. Rather than following and imitating Jesus, we end up following the scribes and the Pharisees, straying from the narrow path in our pomp and circumstance.
We should be fools for Christ’s sake, rather than thinking we know all there is to know about Him, as if we have the final answer and He doesn’t. We should be weak, so He can be strong in us – not us strong in ourselves. We should humble ourselves, not distinguish ourselves. After all, a good name should be chosen over great riches (Proverbs 22:1). We should love God’s favor more than the silver and gold and status the world offers.
Rather than getting our choir robes all tied up in a stitch, we should be faithful stewards of the riches God has entrusted to us – the treasure that no moth or rust can destroy – our spiritual treasure.
So before we go over-thinking that argument, that insult, the offender’s heart motive, let’s take a moment to remember God’s Word…
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)