Mary DeMuth: “I gave my reputation to Jesus”

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So I stopped talking, trying to convince her of my innocence. I cried instead. I gave my reputation to Jesus to manage, as I’m not so great at doing that task. I remember the release I felt when I realized this truth about God: He sees.

He sees my heart. He sees my motives (and there are plenty of impure ones mixed together in a jumble of confusion and integrity). He sees the bureaucrat’s heart. He discerns my friend’s heart. He knows my desires. It’s completely freeing to know that even if someone else doesn’t believe me, I don’t need to “protesteth too much.” I can rest. God sees. He knows. He rewards those who are faithful in little.

It also reminds me not to be so quick to pass judgment on someone’s motives or heart, not to accuse blindly, not to jump to conclusions without patiently listening and asking questions, not to jump to bitterness before I have a chance to exercise forgiveness. Bitterness, if I let it take root, does one awful thing. It makes me blind to the heart of another. It assigns negative intent to that person. It only sees the bad, oblivious to the good.

There have been far too many times in my life when I’ve listened to gossip about someone else. If that’s the first thing I hear about him/her, it forever colors my view. The older and wiser I get, the less I give weight to the first thing I hear. I try to meet people fresh, try to draw them out and discover their heart. Not always, but I try.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://www.marydemuth.com/ Mary DeMuth

    Thanks for mentioning my words here, Scot. I’ve long been an admirer of your work. Blessings on your ministry and all that you’re doing.

  • pastordt

    Mary – how lovely to see you here! Such good words. Thank you.

  • Susan_G1

    good advice always! Jesus is the judge we need to consider. It is wonderful that he forgives us when we confess and repent.

    Maybe you can help me. Do you have any advice for coping lovingly with people who frequently gossip, esp. under the guise of asking for prayer for that person. How can you avoid gossip when you don’t know it’s coming?

  • David_LloydJones

    Susan,

    That’s not gossip, that’s expression of concern.

    Look at all the good pastors for examples: do they not condemn and decry at every opportunity?

    Go you and do likewise.

    -dlj.

  • Susan_G1

    No, it’s often gossip. I don’t need to know what someone who knows what someone’s daughter’s husband’s sins are to pray for that person. I can tell a prayer request from gossip couched as a prayer request.

    Also, I know pastors who talk about love and other prominent themes in scripture far more often than they condemn and decry. They follow a Jesus who commanded that above all we love God and love our neighbor.

  • David_LloydJones

    Susan,

    You’re quite right on both points. Your original one, that some people use the pretense of concern for others as an excuse for prying into and cluck-clucking over the lives of others, prompted me to write my, I admit, satirical reply.

    Your second point, that many, or at least some, pastors manage to preach a Christian Gospel, rather than, for instance, the latest publications of the Republican National Committee, is also correct. They may, on the other hand be preaching what they do in the manner of Ralph Reed of the so-called “Christian Coalition,” who is happy to play off one Indian tribe’s gambling operations against another’s for money for his, uh, ministry.

    The problem, it seems to me, is that the ones you and I agree are decent pastors seem to occupy little hole-in-the-wall churches hidden away here and there. The other kind seem to have been supplied by Some Power with TV stations, vast printing operations, and great modern church buildings.

    They no doubt think that God sent them these blessings. My observation would be that these dubious blessings are more likely paid for here on earth by the wealthy — who enjoy the sort of preaching that validates their wealth.

    -dlj.


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