I remember as a young adult sitting in Sunday School classes and being utterly bored with what was being taught. Teachers would drone on about maps, dates, and times that had absolutely nothing to do with my life (or anyone else’s) at present. They’d make a point of knowing inconsequential information.
For me, especially today, the Bible is alive. I can have a conversation with the scriptures. I can wrestle with them, cry over them, pull them into my lap to snuggle, envision them applied throughout my experiences, and see how they apply universally in society. Knowledge is flat, but wisdom is an ever-expanding sphere. Every time I dive into scripture, something new will emerge!
When I teach the scriptures, it must have direct life application. It needs to apply to what’s happening today, right outside my door – not to ancient people thousands of years ago. If I’m going to speak and take up folks’ time, it needs to be interesting, funny if possible, and thought-provoking.
Almost three decades ago, I was very involved in speaking at men’s conferences and engaging in men’s ministries. While serving at a small church in Moss Bluff, Louisiana, we held a weekly men’s gathering where I got to teach whatever I wanted from the scriptures.
One night I had gotten very passionate about Jesus, cried a little at the goodness of God, and told a couple of engaging stories. When it came to the Q&A time, a few people asked questions, and I answered. Then it got quiet. After a long pause, the oldest gentleman in attendance raised his hand.
When I called on him to speak, he said, “I wanted to tell you publically how much I enjoy you speaking to us. For years the teaching has made me feel like Jesus was an unattainable goal, and you make us feel like He’s with us in every moment.” More tears ran down my face. And then he told us a moving story.
“When I was a newly married man, I was getting ready for work one day. My wife passed the bathroom and saw me putting on my deodorant. As she looked at me in passing, she exclaimed, ‘What the hell are you doing!?!’ I was using my spray deodorant and doing what I had always done. I put my shirt on first and then sprayed the deodorant into the armpits of my shirt. When she asked me, ‘Why are you doing it that way?’ I replied because I was never taught. That’s the way I feel when you teach me, John – as if I was never taught correctly before.”
As everyone sat watching us, God was dealing with me using a heavy hand. He said, “See John, how you judge people for what they’ve never been taught! You judge religious people for their actions, but no one has ever stopped to try and educate them! They’re putting deodorant on their shirts, and you just keep letting it go on.” I’ve been convicted about it ever since.
Jesus said, “This soul needs to follow another soul in whom the Spirit of life dwells because she is saved through the Spirit. Then she will never be thrust into flesh again.” (Secret Book of John 14:20). The only way to escape the ignorance of materialism is if an awakened Soul pulls you off the hamster wheel of reincarnation. This only occurs by grace and Divine timing – there are no coincidences when it comes to a realization.
Imagine a fierce animal with a thorn in its paw. Now picture you try to remove the thorn with sand in your eyes. This is what it’s like for a judgemental person to try and help another spiritually. You’ll likely get bitten, hurt, and completely miss the goal of removing the offending object. You cannot physically see sand in your eyes, and you cannot discern spiritually while being judgemental!
The ONLY way you can genuinely help someone spiritually is to look at them through completely non-condemning eyes. If you want to assist someone’s Soul, then you must treat them as God in drag – they are the Beloved, and they are you at their core! Only then can you see if they are ready to heal. Only then can you comprehend their injury. Only then can you pull out the weedy roots of their pain!
The next time you are tempted to label someone stupid or incompetent, be present enough to ask yourself, “Who taught them?” and “Did they have the opportunities that I’ve had to learn?”
If a person stops reprobating people for what they’ve never been taught, they stop condemning them altogether. All adverse karmic action comes from a lack of understanding—all of it. Everyone stops putting their hand on a hot stove once they learn that it burns.
EVERY Soul you will encounter on this plane of existence has come here for classes. Help them take the curriculum – don’t kick them out of class for never having heard the teacher! Please remember before you sticker someone again – except for the grace of God – there go I!