People are interesting to me. I try not to judge the motives of others and I work hard to see the point of view of the other guy. It can be challenging at times because of my personality but I’m definitely getting better.
I try not to but I sometimes find myself giving the side-eye to church folks more than I do non-church folks (for lack of a better term). Just so we’re clear, church folks are the ones who wear their religion like a sandwich board that says, “See how holy I am!” I prefer to witness someone’s “holiness” by their actions, not by their words.
But that’s another post.
My tendency to give the side-eye sometimes comes when someone tells me that God told them to say something to me.
I remember the first time it happened. It was many, many years ago and I was sitting in church and I was not having a good day. I was feeling bad about something, I cannot remember what. The woman that was sitting next to me put her hand on my shoulder and said the following: “Sis, I really don’t want to bother you and I’ve never done this before, but I feel like the Lord wants me to tell you that it’s going to be okay. I don’t know what you’re going through but I just feel like I had to be obedient and say something.”
I kind of knew the woman but not really. She was very timid and I can imagine how hard it was to approach someone as evil (looking) as me. I appreciated it and at the time, I really did need the reminder.
Encounters like that have happened again and again. And it makes me wonder. Is God really putting me on the hearts of these people? Or is there something else going on? Sometimes, I swear, the “good intentions” are completely misguided and I just want to tell them to go somewhere and sit down. But I just smile and say thank you.
I remember once a woman used the “God told me to tell you” thing in order to let me know how wrong I was for sleeping with my boyfriend without the benefit of marriage. She shared this long, drawn out story which had condemnation written all over it. I wanted to remind her that God does not condemn his children. I'm not saying that what she said wasn't true, it was her delivery. I thanked her for sharing.
It’s like hit and miss … or maybe it’s more than that and I just can’t see it. Maybe there are just times when I’m willing accept these “words from the Lord” and times when I’m not.
On Saturday during praise and worship we were singing a song that said:
Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God you are greater than any other
Our God is healer
Awesome in power
Our God, Our God
The words were up on the screen and it seemed that the word HEALER was magnified larger than the other words and I broke down. I was thinking about the procedure my son has to have next week and I believe God was reminding me that he is a HEALER. Afterward, I stepped out for a minute and the lady that was sitting behind me followed me, stopped me in the lobby and told me that God told her to tell me that everything is going to be okay. I accepted that one.
There have been times when I believe God has put a person on my heart. I can’t recall a time when I have ever said to a person, “God wants you to know …” I talk to people and I encourage them but I don’t preface that encouragement with, “This is a message from the Lord!” I’m not sure I see the benefit in it. I think some folks believe it gives them credibility. That it makes them ultra-spiritual in the eyes of the person who is listening to them. I think it may have the opposite effect. If you talk to me with honesty, sincerity and love then I will assume that it’s God speaking through you. I just don’t think you need to say it.