I love hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. His words bring such peace, joy, faith, hope and love. With one word He can change my world.
So I sit in my prayer chair and I listen. I find myself in a situation where I need wisdom and instruction, so I stop wherever I am and I listen. Funny thing though is sometimes when I’m not consciously listening, out of the blue I hear Him speak and once again His words change my world. This brings me to something He said to me a few days ago.
I was riding as a passenger in a car. I was just watching the world whiz by. At one point I could clearly see the driver in the next car. His head was down and he was looking at his phone as he was driving. He looked like he was texting. I judged him for his dangerous driving behavior. Then I heard the Holy Spirit speak.
Don’t practice judging. Practice love.
I’ve meditated on this the last few days and studied the scriptures on judging. I don’t find that we are never to make judgements. For the many scriptures that tell us not to judge, I found others that instructed how to judge. What I found was that the manner or the heart with which we judge matters.
When God makes a judgement it will always be 100% from a heart of love. Love is not what was in my heart when I thought, “What an idiot.” The Bible tells us that Jesus only said what He first heard the Father say and He only did what He first saw the Father do. I didn’t hear the Father say, “Did you see that guy texting and driving? What an idiot. Judge him for Me won’t you?”
Practice makes perfect. Since that day, I have caught myself practicing some unloving behaviors on perfect strangers from afar. The texting driver. The parent letting their child run wild. So many opportunities in this crazy world to make a judgement. But each is also an opportunity to practice love. Choosing to love instead of judging with a prideful heart. Choosing to pray instead of complaining. This doesn’t just work for far off strangers, but it works with up close aquaintances too.
This may seem impossible, but it’s not if we continue to practice. What are we to practice? Practice hearing His voice and receiving His love. In His words and in His love is the power to love like He loves. In our own strength, our own ability, our own self-control, this IS impossible. But He has given us His Holy Spirit, His strength, His ability, His self-control and with God, nothing is impossible.
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control… (Galatians 5:22-23, Amp)