God sees beyond the surface

By Judy Brandon: CNJ religion columnist

Paul wrote in his Roman letter: “So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) People might minimize that scripture but the ramifications are worth contemplation. We might rationalize and admit, “Well I know what the Bible says but….” Yet, will we really give an account of ourselves? We will!

I remember one incident that illustrates this concept well. One day when Annie and John Scott were preschoolers at home, they were playing with my bathroom scales “weighing one another.” John Scott was standing on the scales, enthusiastic to outweigh Annie even though she was two years older. He was in a competitive frame of mind to demonstrate to Annie that he was bigger and stronger. He jumped on the scales wearing Charlie’s boots and holding two books under each arm! There he stood on the scales, thinking that the added baggage was legitimate in calculating his weight.

Then Annie looked at John Scott and said: “Oh John Scott that won’t work! You can only weigh just you!”

And how true that is! Do we sometimes think we can fool God by stuffing our spirits with self-righteousness baggage in an attempt to fool God and everyone else into thinking we weigh more spiritually?

Maybe we should take a spiritual inventory to see what our heart attitudes really are. Blessings may escape us because we fail to deal with the problems in our own spirit. These problems cause a hindrance between God and us, and consequently we cannot experience the wonderful fellowship that He attended for us to have.

As Christians, take a personal inventory and decide if you are weighed down with any of these problems. First, think about covetousness. Do you honor God with personal possessions? God cannot bless us as long as we have selfish motives and hoard all we have as our own when it all belongs to God anyway. (Mal. 3:10) This attitude shows itself in selfishness, greed and excessive desires for accumulation of things to the point that it becomes a life focus. If we keep from God, we will miss His blessings.

What about the lack of prayer in our lives? While we never will talk to heads of state and presidents of governments, we can have daily communion and communication with the God of the entire universe! The Bible tells us that “we have not because we ask not!” (James 4:2) It is that simple.

Another problem among Christians is an unforgiving spirit. Some people play the church game masterfully. They practice all the right things, teach all the right Sunday School lessons, take all the right Bible studies and then have a grudge against someone and refuse to speak to them. An unforgiving spirit can keep a person from reaping all of the blessings that God wants her to have. In the supreme example, Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who had nailed Him to the cross. An unforgiving spirit may not only alienate us from other people but from God as well.

Finally, how can we be blessed if be have the attitude of criticism? Some feel that it is their charge in life to keep everyone in line with their “honesty.” I heard one person say: “Well I just tell it like it is.” Yet someone much wiser countered: “Criticism is the poorest substitute in the world for service.” We criticize others who in our estimation don’t measure up; yet if we really knew their hearts, they probably are much finer that we.

We cannot fool God…He knows our spiritual conditions better than we know our own. God knows us for what we really are

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: cbrandon@plateautel.net