ministry mode

"If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." - Luke 7:39

This Pharisee wanted to impress Jesus. He'd seen the miracles, had heard his words of wisdom, and knew that something was different about Jesus. He invited Jesus to dinner not so much to honor and learn from him. Instead he wanted his own friends to know that he'd had dinner with Jesus.

And he certainly didn't want this "sinner" woman to ruin the moment. Perhaps she could go to the synagogue and be fed by the soup kitchen ministry. Or get some more decent clothes by the ladies ministry. Or even come see Jesus later when he was speaking at the Mt. Olives conference. But seriously woman, don't interrupt MY dinner meeting with Jesus.

I think more times than I'd like to admit, I too, judge others when I'm not in "ministry mode". When at a church function or missions trip, or Sunday service I'm magically transformed into the most "compassionate, caring, and full of God's wisdom" person I know (did i forget to mention humble). I'll share the love of Jesus, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, build a house, listen with empathy, and lead people gently down the Roman's Road to the arms of our Savior.

But if I encounter those same people at Walmart, or if they drive too slow in front of me, or misspell a word on their facebook or twitter update; then they're obnoxious, inconsiderate heathen idiots whom God should smite from the earth.

In all honesty, I even have a good excuse. I could blame my dad. He was a spiritually judgmental, bigoted pastor as well. And I can hear my mom saying to him, "you know God's gonna save one of them and place their mansion in Heaven right next door to yours so you can spend eternity as neighbors!"

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Jesus, forgive me for my critical spirit. Renew my mind and heart to always see people as you see them, not just when it's convenient for me.