How just asking “Who are you?” can change the world

th-39I just found out that one of our 15-year-old son’s friends whom I had pegged in my mind as “Least Likely to Succeed,” is on the varsity tennis team at the high school (he’s the second best player on the team), plans on attending the University of Helsinki where his uncle is a professor (that means he’s fluent in at least two languages) and plans on a career in cancer research. I was on the varsity tennis team when I was in high school (sixth best on a team of seven). I asked him if we could play sometime and would he teach me a few things.

I wrote the book on Pharisees, but it’s obviously been a while since I read it. The title is 12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me), and step number one is: “We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.” You can see that I haven’t been to a P.A. meeting in a long time.

If we’re going to be in Gideon’s army, it helps to know who we’re fighting. In this case, our enemy is the tendency to judge others. The world does not need more people who judge, and most certainly God doesn’t. There’s only one judge of the world and I hear He’s offering forgiveness right now in large amounts.

Here’s what changed it for me. All I did was ask, “Hey, who are you?” and boy was I surprised. Not “How are you?” or “What do you do?” but “Who are you?” That’s a deeper question with a longer answer, but the answer will tell you that your judgment was wrong. Win this battle enough times and you will stop judging altogether and instead, get excited about who you’re going to meet next. So many people … so little time … and Christ in you who loves them all equally.

Picture, if you will, 300 people who have eradicated judgment in their lives (we knock down that idol first) going forth with weapons of love, mercy and compassion and looking for every opportunity to find out from the people they meet, “Hey … who are you?” Imagine what God could do with 300 people like that? Don’t you want to be in that army?

It’s time to get serious about being in Gideon’s 300. This is not just a story to have fun with for a couple weeks; it’s a call to arms, and in the next few days, we’re going to find examples of what that call entails. But as for me, as I would imagine for most of you, it will mean some major changes in my life.

Just as long as we always remember, the power to change comes through our weakness and God’s strength, and almost always with strange and unexpected weapons in our hands. It’s time for a win. Let’s get around our fears and judgments and get to loving people unconditionally with the love of Christ. Think of the difference we can make!

We are also serious about our goal of 300 MemberPartners. Sign up to become a MemberPartner today. We are in this together; don’t try and go up against the enemy alone. We can help and we can help each other. Find the button in the column to the right and sign up today so we can add your name tomorrow to our growing list of Gideon’s 300!

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2 Responses to How just asking “Who are you?” can change the world

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    That’s a very good book you wrote Pastor John, “12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me)” I did thoroughly enjoy reading it! And luv the 1st step: “We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.” Which is, for me sooo true!

    My reason I like to pass judgement onto others is because I can admit, I have, or battle with a low self-esteem and when I judge, or try to bring others down, then I get to feel/think better about myself. For me and me alone, I tend to not want to judge others and love them just the way they are is when I allow myself to love myself, like I think/believe God loves me… 🙂

  2. bobnearseattle says:

    Research shows that it takes only three or four weeks for an activity to become a habit.

    Not a person who reads this is completely free from bad habits. It’s the price we pay for being human. [Here are] five suggestions that will help us overcome bad habits.

    Stop rationalizing. Refuse to make comments like: “Oh, that’s just me. I’ve always been like that.” Such excuses take the edge off disobedience and encourage you to diminish or completely ignore the Spirit’s work of conviction.

    Apply strategy. Approach your target with a rifle, not a BB gun. Take on one habit at a time, not all at once.

    Be realistic. It won’t happen fast. It won’t be easy. Nor will your resolve be permanent overnight. Periodic failures, however, are still better than habitual slavery.

    Be encouraged. Realize you’re on the road to ultimate triumph, for the first time in years! Enthusiasm strengthens self-discipline and prompts an attitude of stick-to-it-iveness.

    Start today. This is the best moment thus far in your life. To put it off is an admission of defeat and will only intensify and prolong the self-confidence battle.

    One day at a time, attack one habit at a time.

    Excerpted from “Day by Day with Charles Swindoll” – Mastering Habits

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