I was reading in Titus this morning, started scribbling frantically in my journal, and decided to share it with you.
Titus 1:15 (NLT) Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.
Break it down:
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure.
Innocent people do not live a lifestyle being suspicious of others.
But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.
I'm not thinking "corrupt and unbelieving" means horrible people; I'm thinking simply those who lack faith to believe God's truth (which is any of us on any given day, right?).
When you carry guilt and have allowed the enemy a foothold in some area of your life, your mind and conscience is corrupt. Your thinking gets a little skewed because you believe you're not innocent. And the lies about yourself and others creep in.
Everybody and everything becomes suspicious.
You question people's choices and motives.
You envy others' successes.
You look for hidden meaning in a look, a statement, a text, a post, a photo.
You think others are judging you, for you are judging yourself.
You indulge in the drama of other people so you can forget your own.
Ever catch yourself getting cynical, suspicious? Pointing out other people's...whatever?
Yeah, I've been there.
If you're guilt-free, forgiven and loved...
If you're declared innocent by Jesus...
If you believe that He has given you His righteousness by His work on the cross...
You can extend the same grace to others.
You can assume they're innocent, because God assumes you are.
You can believe the best about others because God believes the best about you..
...and you believe Him.
Love believes the best. (1 Cor. 13:7 ISV) I have no reason to look for wrong in the lives of others. I trust that God can correct them if they're wrong, just like He does for me.
Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) I have no fear that somehow someone else's joy means there won't be enough for me. I believe I'm safe in God's love for me.
Other people won't bother you nearly as much if your heart is innocent, believing God's love and grace is poured on you.
This is kinda freeing, isn't it?
Today I'm going to start by letting God declare me innocent. I'll line up with His heart for my day, my work, my choices, my world. I'll choose to believe His love. And I'll extend the same to others.