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Who Me?

So, a while back, I was reading a blog by one of my favorite women in ministry. I was enjoying what she was saying right up to the point where she started talking about her favorite television series. That's when my judgmental side kicked in, and I started thinking, "What?? How could she give that show such a glowing endorsement? What was she thinking?"

Now, obviously, I'd seen the show before. I'd watched season 1 but then decided season 2 just wasn't worth it. It wasn't my taste at all, and there were some things I had to fast-forward through. So I gave it up. Let me tell you, I was feeling pretty self-righteous as I was criticizing my colleague.

Then the Holy Spirit spoke to heart and asked, "Uh, 'Des, didn't you just watch (insert the name of a different show)? Wasn't the content and the rating pretty much the same? Don't you just prefer the show you watched?"

Then, the Holy Spirit hit below the belt. He said, "And isn't the content and rating of her favorite show almost identical to the Gilmore Girls?" (a show that I love, have watched over and over again, can and do recite on cue.)


The Holy Spirit hit that one right on the nose. I asked Him to forgive me for criticizing another woman for something I do myself.

This is an area the Holy Spirit has dealt with me recently. All too often, I am quick to criticize other people and see their issues, problems, and the things they need to fix. It's part of the culture I grew up in.

I remember seeing my grandparents do it. Even though their lives were in shambles, they didn't talk about it or try to overcome any of their issues. Instead, they ignored their problems and talked and gossiped about other people. They could tell you what everyone else was doing wrong, how they should do it better, and why they should do it differently. This was pretty much their favorite topic of conversation. Still, they never addressed or looked at any issues in their own lives.

Growing up in the church, I saw the same thing--a feeling that because you were following these stringent, legalistic rules, you were better than everybody else.

Honestly, as I've been allowing the Holy Spirit to work on my heart, one of the things I've had to address is the tendency toward pride and thinking you are better than others has had in my life. While it was a much bigger problem years ago, I am ashamed to admit that there are still times when it rears its ugly head again. My feelings about another woman's choice of television programs is just one example.

This is a problem because pride is a sin.

Thinking you are better than other people is also a sin. In fact, the Bible clearly says that we should NOT think this way.

"Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us." (Romans 12:3, NLT)

Here's something else Jesus has to say on the topic:

"And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?

How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye?

Hypocrite! First, get rid of the log in your own eye; then, you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)

Notice Jesus' priorities—worry about the sin in your life first.

What does the Holy Spirit want to change inside of you?

What sins does He want to remove?

What character traits does He want to develop?

In this instance, the "log" that the Holy Spirit wanted to work on in my heart was the sin of a critical spirit. He used this instance to show me this tendency inside my heart and where it started. He's been working on removing it from my life and asking me to change it.

Don't get me wrong— I'm not saying we should ever let a fellow believer walk in sin. If you're about to walk off a cliff, I will yell "stop" and do all I can to keep you from hurting yourself. In other areas, I'm learning to recognize other people's hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts without my harsh criticism.

Meanwhile, I'm focusing on letting the Holy Spirit point out what He wants to change in my life and remembering that it's only as we allow the Holy Spirit to work on our hearts that we can help other people.

Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.

When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."


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