Did You Hear the Latest Scoop on Her?
Lysa TerKeurst

"And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." Philippians 1:9 (NIV)

When we hear of another person's struggle is our first desire to more closely examine ourselves or more closely scrutinize this other person? It's a question worth considering. It's a question worth holding up to Biblical truth.

Over the past couple of days I've received three e-mails about an acquaintance of mine that is on the cover of many tabloid magazines right now. This devotion is not meant in any way to defend, offend, discuss, rehash, or remark about this woman I care about. This devotion is about you and me.

And those three e-mails.

The first e-mail I received used such hateful remarks it hurt my head to read it. Seriously, I could have skipped my run for that day because reading that e-mail set my heart racing as much as a good cardio workout. It was dripping with judgment, condemnation, and venomous words like "shameful" and "hate."

The second e-mail I received was a "Christian" call to action. It was strong and slightly demanding that I do something harsh about this situation. You know, rain down a little hell fire and brimstone in an effort to correct the actions of this woman in question. All in "love"' of course.

The third e-mail was completely different. It still expressed concern, and rightly so. However, in complete humility she said she's using this situation as a call to pray for this woman's life, and as a call to action to examine her own.

She said as she watched this woman being featured on TV, she saw things that bothered her. So, she asked herself some very tough questions about her own life - her own marriage - her own attitude about the importance she places on God. And she found herself falling short. With great honesty and courage, she set aside her judgments of another, and got down on her knees.

If I could have jumped through cyber-space, I would have thrown my arms around the author of the third e-mail and hugged her.

Sisters, I do believe with all my heart that there is a place for Christian accountability. I believe it is biblical and necessary. However, making judgmental remarks, rolling our eyes, belittling someone we don't personally know or do life with in the real world, and sending hateful e-mails is neither biblical or necessary.

It's sin.

It's totally missing the mark of what God has called His girls to be and to do.

If the actions and attitudes of another person hurt our heart and rub our soul the wrong way – be it a neighbor or a woman on the cover of a tabloid – I pray we handle it with the grace and dignity Jesus enables us to have. "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment" (Phil. 1:9).

And may we always remember the person in question is loved by God. He may not love their actions and He most certainly doesn't love anyone's sin, but the person, He loves.

They are loved.

She is loved.

We are loved.

Totally and immensely, unfathomably and remarkably, beautifully and abundantly loved.

Dear Lord, before I start picking at the splinters that are so easy to spot in other's eyes, may I have the humility to examine the plank I don't want to see in my own eye. Search me Lord, see if there is any wicked way within me and reveal it. Give me wisdom to know what to do about my own sin, a filter of grace by which to see others' sins, and a heart restrained from rash reactions because of Your love in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa’s blog today for more on this topic.

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Join or begin a Gather and Grow Group for accountability, spiritual growth and deep friendships.

Application Steps:
When confronted with someone judging another person, how will I respond? What is a good, biblical answer that I've thought through in advance to offer up in this kind of situation? Why not read through the Scriptures in this devotion and on Lysa’s blog to prepare yourself?

Imagine yourself standing at the grocery store line seeing all of your actions, reactions, mishaps, and misquotes splashed across the magazines for all the world to see?

Thinking about this really makes me pause to remember, those are people. Real people with real feelings. No amount of worldly success or popularity takes away the sting of cruelty being thrown in their direction. What an opportunity Christians have to pray for those people - really pray for them. And what a testimony of the reality of Jesus when we make the uncommon choice say, "no comment."

Power Verses:
Matthew 7:3, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (NIV)

Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (NIV)

Proverbs12:18, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (NIV)

© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Tracy said...

This touched me today as yesterday I was talking with a Christian friend and made a comment relating to the children's leader and now I realize, what was the purpose of that comment. Thank you for your time and your committment to our Holy Savior.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this reminder. It is always so easy to look at the faults of others, but not so easy to examine ourselves. We like to look at others' issues and think about how how much "better" we are, when in reality we are no better. It is only by the grace of God that we may have been spared some problems, and we always have our own.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These were the "right words at the right time!" I've been dealing w/ the correction of the Lord in the areas of self-pity and self-righteousness all week long. As Ive been seeking Him for healing in these areas, the trials and tests have been stonger and greater all week long and the hurts and pains caused by my loved ones, esp the man in my life, have been growing deeper and deeper. Searching for comfort and encouragement this morning, I decided to click on your daily devotional...only to read what I was hoping would bring comfort to my pain but brought chastening to my mind and soul. I wished I had read it a few mins BEFORE I decided to give in to "emotions" by sending a "not so nice," "let me make you hurt like Im hurting" text to my man. Although I Cannot take it back...I can only seek forgiveness from God and him. So, I write all that to write this...I've been chastened, touched, and humbled through your leading of the HS to write this devotion and share it w/ all your readers. (I just now pray that I have the Strength to continue Walking in those ways all day long!) Thank you so much....All Glory and Honor Belongs to the Lord!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thank the Lord for this devotion.
This is something that the Lord has been dealing with me for some time now. I even ordered the book called 30 Days to Taming your Tongue.
That's how bad I desire to train my tongue in certain situations.
I came from a family where we were so miserable with our life that when we heard something terrible about someone we would pull up our chairs and go at them. We were so excited to get some bad news about someone! Judging people, back biting, and gossiping was something that we celebrated like we celebrate Christmas. We was happy for the day to come to hear some bad news about someone else.
Just recently, I realized how I did that a lot.
I couldn't understand why I was doing that so much. I knew that it was ugly, because every time I heard some one else do it, it grieved my spirit. So I prayed about it. And the Lord showed me how when people do that, it's because they hate their life, and to hear that someone else life is messed up, it pleases them. If we are at peace with the Lord, and are fulfilled in our lives with Christ, we wouldn't do those things. So we not only have to pray for the one who is experiencing a down fall, we also have to pray for the gossipers and the ones who are filled with so much hate. Their really angry with their own lives.
It's a sister "n Christ that I know who gossips and backbites and judges all of the time.
I do not like talking to her at all! I have warned her about it once but she continues to do it. I thought that since our pastor has been hammering on it lately that she has learned but unfortunately not! I have been praying for the Lord to give me the right words to tell her not to hurt her but so she can stop.
The Lord has spoken to me clearly today through the devotion, to let me take a inventory of my life to make sure that I am not doing it. Not to Judge but to love. Because we all have fallen short of God's glory and are going to do it again. So we must restore each other in meekness, being that we might find ourselves in that same situation.
God bless you all, and sisters who are involved.

Blogger harlisha said...

How timely and how convicting! I often say that if I was on "totally hidden video," I would be fully exposed. Thanks for reminding us to consider ourselves when someone else's faults have been "outed."

Blogger Mollie said...

Thanks for the encouragement Lysa. This situation has shown me that we must protect our marriages and be intentional everyday about building up the man that God has provided to us. I have 3 kids under 6 and know how easy it is for me to get caught up in the diaper changes, crying and needs of small kids. I am exhausted at the end of the day and the person I should be loving the most gets left out (sometimes completely). This has been a call to action for me to look at my husband as the perfect provision from God.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy to judge when it is not us but thank God that He is not like man, ready to condemn but God who is ready to forgive when we confess our sins

Blogger Tulabell said...

I am wondering if you could give me some advice? I had to recently "break away" from a friend of mine to pursue my love and new comittment to the Gospel. In order to do so I had to be honest with her why I didn't wish to spend as much time with her. I know I went about it all the wrong way as it left her more self concious than ever. I am a very new Christian and fear that now I have caused our relationship to change, but that is what I wanted right? I fear my relationship with her because when I am around I want to go back into bad habits that she and I had our relationship based on. What is your suggestion? How do I love when I don't enjoy being in her company? What is wrong with me? I know the verse that says to enjoy common men and the one that says to be friends with the sinners but not to sin, but I just struggle with even wanting to be her friend at all. I don't even desire to be and for this I am ashamed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...what they said...:) I was thinking about this and gossip this a.m....and feeling I had failed to uphold Christ in my speech and attitudes....

Time to repent & reasses....

Blogger SewingSeedsMama said...

Tulabell, if hanging around with your friend causes you to want to sin, then I think you are probably right not to hang around with her by yourself. You could invite a Christian friend to hang out with both of you for "safety."

As far as not wanting to be her friend or wanting to be around her, it's okay if our emotions are not what they should be. Love is a choice and an action, not a feeling. If we choose to act lovingly, God will help the feelings to follow later. Also, ask God to help you to even want to be her friend.

I have struggled with not wanting to be friends with certain people in my life for different reasons. But I have found that when I pray for God to help me to love that person, He gives me the ability to see good things about them, and the desire to be their friend.

I'm praying for you. Don't beat yourself up--"there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!" -Romans 8:1

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tulabell -
I am reading this kinda late but I applaud your heart after God. There is nothing wrong with you. You are just in love with your God and trying to please Him. Make sure you pray about your decisions before making them - then you'll know in your heart what you should do. 1 Corinthians 15:33 does say "Do not be deceived, 'bad company corrupts good character'" If this person is leading you to sin, maybe you should set boundaries until God shows you how you can have a positive relationship with her - especially as a young Christian. She is not your enemy but if she's a hinderance to your relationship with God - that is a problem. If you came at her the wrong way, pray about it and see what God wants you to say to her. Make new friends too - Christian ones. I hope you will have the chance to influence her in the future. May God bless you my sister.

Blogger Catcher12 said...

Thank you Lysa for this reminder of all that God wants from us as women...I fall short daily with this and so many other things, but I love that b/c HE loves me just like HE loves this lady that you are talking about in the magazine...we are all saved by Grace only b/c of Jesus...Thank you thank you for this reminder and the kick in the butt when my mouth opens God wants to hear the beauty that HE has purposed us for, not the ugly that satan desires...

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