It's not always easy to trust God, is it? And yet, God is absolutely trustworthy. He's never broken a promise. He's never been unfaithful. Nicole and Sharon continue discussing the Sermon on the Mount and the issue of trust in today's episode. May you be inspired to trust Him more and more!
Speaker 1 (00:02):
Welcome friend. It’s time to hit pause on your busy day and enjoy the Sweet Selah Moments podcast. Let’s ponder God’s Word together and find the encouragement we need to work well and rest well. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.
Welcome to episode 22 of the Sweet Selah moments podcast. Today’s episode is called Do We Really Trust God? We all find it easier to trust God when things are going well and the sun is shining and everyone is being nice. It’s a lot harder to trust him when he tells us to do hard things or when we want something really badly and it looks like he is not going to give it to us. Sharon, how are you at trusting God in the hard times?
Well, I’d love to say I always immediately smile and say, God’s got this and I trust him, but sometimes there are some severe panicky moments before I get to the trust part. But I think the longer we walk with Jesus, the more we realize that his commands and teachings really are for our good, we can trust his counsel. We can trust his gifts, even if they don’t look exactly like what we asked for. And eventually we start to really believe that God is good and his plans for us are as well. You know, our passage today challenges us with some very clear directives from Jesus. If we really trust him, then we will follow them, these directives in faith, even when they seem hard and go against what our selfish selves might want. So let’s dive in and have our Sweet Selah moment first thing in the podcast today. There’s a whole lot to unpack. So Nicole, there are three main sections in this passage. So why don’t we read Matthew 7:1-12 by sections. And you can start with the first section.
Sure. All right, Matthew seven, one through six. Do not judge others and you will not be judged for you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye when you can’t see past the log in your own eye.’ Hypocrite, first get rid of the log in your own eye. Then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs. They will trample the pearls and then turn and attack you.
Hmm. Matthew seven, seven through 11, keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find, keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, everyone who seeks, finds, and to everyone who knocks the door will be opened. You parents, if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not. So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him?
The Golden Rule, verse 12, do to others, whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
You know, I had such a hard time coming up with a name for this podcast because the sections are really different from each other. Jesus covers a lot of territory in the Sermon on the Mount.
Each topic was important and each one was memorable as we can tell, because it was written down. But in the end the title ‘Do We Trust God?’ made the most sense to me. Do we trust him to give good gifts? Even when they’re not the gifts we wanted? Do we trust him that when he tells us not to judge, there’s a reason we shouldn’t judge? Do we trust him that the best way to live is that Golden Rule, to treat others as we wish they would treat us? So let’s start with the judging one.
Start with the hard one first.
I find personally that I tend to judge people most harshly in the areas that come easy to me. For example, I find it easy to sit and read. In fact, that’s like my favorite thing to do. So I have a hard time understanding that sitting still is hard for some people. So when I teach Sweet Selah days, you know, I’m all about sitting in the cafe with my tea, looking at ocean waves roll. And that’s simple for me. And I can sit there all day and write in my journal and read, but not everybody’s wired like me and I had to get over being judgy about people that did Sweet Selah days differently than me. My daughter likes to color while she prays. I’m like, seriously? You can pray and color? She said, yes, I can pray and color. She said, if I’m in a public place and I’m just sitting there with my hands folded, I feel weird. But if I’m just doing something mindless, like coloring, I can the whole time be praying for my kids.
That’s a great idea.
So I had to release that. And then I have this friend who lives out West and her ideal Sweet Selah day, I mean, I don’t understand this, but I’m not judging her because I’m actually in awe of her. She likes to climb a mountain.
And find her cave, which often has snakes, which she finds fascinating. I’m not kidding.
And sit in the cave and recite huge, huge amounts of scripture that she’s memorized.
Oh my goodness. That’s amazing.
Now that is a totally different Sweet Selah day from mine.
But is she spending the day with God? Yes. Is she going over the scriptures that she loves that she’s hidden in her heart to a far larger degree than I have ever. I mean, I don’t memorize books of the Bible.
No, I don’t either.
And she does. She’s just got this very active personality. And so she just go, go goes. So even a day set alone with God involves a hike. Oh, poisonous snake. Cool. We could not be more different.
That’s so funny.
I’d be ‘Eew, poisonous snake, never walking that trail again!’.
Right. I think I’m with you on that one.
But, I need to allow for the beautiful variety of differentness God gives us and not judge people that want to choose a Sweet Selah day, for example, that looks really different from mine, but it’s still got the same purpose.
I am going to devote this day to being with my Jesus. And she does that absolutely beautifully.
Or another one, I find that I can judge people that swear very easily because I grew up in a home where nobody swore. And so I never heard it. In fact, this is the truth. I hope my mother’s not mad at me for telling you this. I don’t think she will be. One day when we really annoyed her she said the word D A R N, I’ll spell it because she wouldn’t want me to say it. As soon as she said that sort of benign almost-swear she burst into tears and cried, called the four of us to her and apologized profusely that she had done that. That’s my Mummy.
She’s so sweet.
I’ve never forgotten it. And I always thought it was a dreadful thing to say D A R N. And so I can’t even say it on the air. So.
Oh, that’s so cute.
So for me, it’s not too hard, not to swear because I didn’t grow up with it.
But should I be all judgy about people who heard it every second of their lives or soldiers like my husband that heard it every day? No, I mean, does that mean God wants us to swear? No, but it means that I need to check my attitude and stop being judgy about things that just happened to be easy for me.
Right. That might be more of a struggle for someone else.
Exactly. Well, how about you? Do you find it hardest to be not judging when it’s something you do pretty well?
Yes. It’s hard to understand when something is so natural to us that not everyone is built the same, you know, even with our Sweet Selah days. I also find that if I have struggled through and conquered something like a bad habit or whatnot, that I am critical of others who still struggle with it. I don’t know if it’s that I’m afraid I’ll go back to it. So I kind of like pull away or that I think now that God’s brought me through it, like, Oh, this is easy to overcome, so you should be able to do that. So, it’s hard to understand why some people are still stuck in it, but that’s not very compassionate at all of me. That’s pretty awful actually. So that’s an area I struggle with.
We sure need this passage.
Yes, we do!
Why don’t you reread the section just on the judging, because even within this section, there are lots of pieces to notice about judging. So go ahead and read it again.
All right. Do not judge others and you will not be judged. For you’ll be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own, how can you think of saying to your friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye. When you can’t see past the log in your own eye. Hypocrite. First, get rid of the log in your own eye and then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy, don’t throw your pearls to pigs. They will trample the pearls and then turn and attack you.
So what stands out to you most, looking at those verses again?
Most? I think verse two, the ‘For you will be treated as you treat others and the standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
That’s a sobering thought.
It surely is, because I sure want grace in areas that are hard for me.
And I have to accept that for other people, different areas are hard for them.
Right, it’s a really good reminder.
You know, it’s interesting cause this is like the inverse of the verse we end with that says do to others as you wish they would do to you.
It’s almost like he’s saying that, in the beginning, differently. If you judge strictly, they’re going to judge you strictly. So it’s fascinating that they’re sort of both there. If we get all judgy and others are going to get all judgy back on us. That’s just the way it rumbles. And they’ll be watching us to see if we’ll fall and you can’t help it when someone is like, huh? Huh? Can’t you get that right. You start being like, so when are you going to fall?
Yes, it’s true. Jesus is just stating basic human nature here. That if we get all super judgy on others, they’re going to be watching us.
It’s not kind. I think you were right. There’s no compassion in it.
There’s no compassion.
We need compassion.
And God could judge us quite severely if he chose to.
Do we want his grace? I do. Signing up for his grace. Are we glad he took our punishment on himself? Uh, yes. So perhaps we should give large amounts of grace to others. And we often judge on such inadequate information.
Yeah, we do. We see little bits and we think we know the whole story.
Exactly. And we don’t, we don’t know the whole story. Somebody who’s a really picky eater and will never eat sugar. You know, when I’m like, come on, I made you this cake. Well, maybe they have in their past an issue of people dying early of cancer, that seemed to have been sugar and diabetes related. I don’t know. I don’t know why. And I have to stop judging when I don’t even know. Or if somebody is a hoarder and they hold onto a lot of stuff, they may have come from poverty. They may have had, I know when Kathryn did foster care, these children have things taken from them all the time. They get used to having something at a house and they go to the next house and it’s taken away. Well, maybe I’d be a little hoardish if everything that I had ever had that I liked was taken away. We have to remember that we don’t see what’s behind the action sometimes. And sometimes, even crabby attitudes can mask deep hurts.
They really can.
No, working in the dental field, I was always so surprised when people who had come in for dental treatment and would kind of be like rude or, you know, just not very nice to me and the dentist. And I would meet them later on in real life. And they are so nice in real life. And it was a surprise to me because I thought, Oh, well, they’re very different than in the chair, but fear and anxiety can cause people to be really grumpy and not themselves. So now that I know that I’m able to give grace and to not take it personally, because no one likes having things stuck into their mouth.
No they don’t. And in another atmosphere, they’re fine.
Exactly. And surprising. So we have to give grace because we all have our moments.
Yes we do. We do. We do. Yeah. Oh my goodness. Well, this is wonderful. So there’s another great scripture that I love in helping someone out who is in trouble that is not as judgy. When we see someone that’s actually, now we’re going to move from just attitude, which also can be sin, but to literal sinning, because I’m thinking about, you know, I’m not judging these people, I’m not judging these people.
But when someone does something wrong, like really wrong, like stealing or even gossiping.
How are we supposed to deal with that? If we’re not to judge and look down on them, is there a way that we’re still supposed to deal with it? So, it’s in Galatians six, one and two, and I think it kind of compliments this ‘don’t judge’. It says this, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently, but watch yourselves. Or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” So I think it’s important to note that we aren’t to ignore it when a sister in Christ is sinning, but that’s different from looking down on them in a judgy attitude.
We’re to restore them it says, gently, none of the harshness and the nastiness, We’re to carry that burden with them, help them get that speck out of their eye. But we need to judge, as we hope we would be judged. And that means we need to know the whole story and the backstory and being well aware that we are also just as capable of being deceived by sin.
It’s gotta be done with great humility and love. And the goal is restoration. It’s always restore. It’s never ‘you condemned sinner get away from me’.
Right. You need to do what’s right because of this and that. It’s yeah. It’s to start relationship with them.
To bring them back into fellowship with God and with others that love them. So. So the casting pearls before swine thing basically just reminds us that some people have no idea and no desire to be restored and they repulse you. You know? So if you’re coming to somebody and saying gently, you really are spending too much time with this person that’s not your husband. And I see an attraction between you and it is going to burn you and they yell and scream at you and say, how dare you have such a terrible filthy mind. Of course, there’s nothing there. And they’re just not willing to listen.
You have to leave it be, because they’re not at a place where they can hear. You still love them. You still pray for them. You’re still there for them. But there are times when someone has so set on a wrong path that it’s not, it’s not helpful at that time to talk to them. It just hardens them in their sin. And I’m not sure exactly how to judge that. But…
It’s a strange little passage that I never quite understood what that means, but that does make sense.
Cause you’re giving wisdom or godly advice and it’s not being received.
It’s not even being received. And it’s not like we’re calling them swine. It’s always been an awkward passage because doesn’t that sound judgy? It’s more that if you showed pearls to a pig, the pig would be like whatever.
It’s not a truffle, right?
And rolling in the mud. Yeah. And if you show wisdom to someone whose heart is set against hearing it, they’re not going to see it. They’re not going to hear it. They’re not going to be able to receive it. You have to pray first for that softened heart.
And to not waste a lot of time berating them, which only sets them further in the path that’s going in the wrong direction because they’re not ready to listen.
Right. And then it does feel like judgment to them. Wow. That’s really good.
Yeah. So, okay. Let’s just take a moment. Let me give you an example of a judgy situation and you can tell me how you think you’d handle it.
Okay. What if you were in a grocery store and you saw a little boy angry with his mother and kicking her hard and saying, ‘give me the cereal box’ now.
Oh my goodness. I do see that a lot. So when I see that before kids, I would have been like, Oh my goodness, these crazy kids, those parents need to discipline that child. And now with four of my own, I try to catch that mama’s eye and just help her to not feel so alone. Like either give her a knowing smile or if I’m close enough, like you’re doing a good job, mama, like keep it up. Just something. Because in those moments, when my child is having a tantrum on the floor, I just want to die. It’s so embarrassing. You’re so tired. And it’s just, it’s usually at the end of a long day. So just some sort of solidarity there, like, I see you there. You’re doing a good job.
I love that because we’ve all been there. And that may not be typical behavior for her little boy. It may be totally out of character.
You don’t know. I mean, you’ve never seen him before.
Right. He could have just had a horrible day and to be like, Oh, you raise a horrible child is so unfair.
It’s so unfair to take one slice out of a mother’s life and decide her entire motheringness on that one incident.
Yeah, and it’s terrifying to go into the world expecting to be judged that way. And knowing that if my little four year old decides to throw a tantrum, that everyone’s going to think I’m the worst mom ever.
So no judging.
No judging. I give lots of grace for other moms.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Cause I’m a mess.
Just restoring gently.
Alright. Well, the next section is all about trusting God. Let me read it. Effective prayer. Matthew seven, seven through 11, Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find, keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you for everyone who asks, receives, everyone who seeks, finds, and to everyone who knocks the door will be opened. You parents, if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not. So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him? So Nicole,
If your little girls ask you for something to eat, do you ever hand them a snake or a stone?
No, I haven’t yet.
Just wondering. But, on the other hand, do you always give them exactly what they asked for? Like, if they want to stay up really late on a school night or could I have ice cream before dinner?
They’ve tried. No, because I’m not concerned with their immediate happiness or wants. I’m thinking about their lives as a whole and what is truly good for them, sometimes in the long run and not right now.
Yes, indeed. And children are notorious for thinking, they’ll be fine the next morning if they don’t get sleep.
So are teenagers, so are college students.
And we have to deal with the repercussions of that.
Oh my goodness. And so yes, sometimes the best gift you can give is a no to your kids.
Yeah, that’s true.
But you don’t give them something nasty, like a snake. Oh, you want to eat? Here, have a boa constrictor. You know, you don’t do that.
No, you don’t mock them.
Right. But you might withhold what they think they want for the better good. For their greater good.
Yeah. Even if they don’t believe you at the moment.
Exactly. I know it. So I love Jesus’s sense of humor here with the snake and the stone, but I also love that he reminds us that a parent gives good gifts and that he, as the perfect parent gives the best gifts, even if it’s not always what we asked for. And that’s hard. And that’s part of, do I really trust him? Do I trust him that not judging is better than judging? Do I trust him that asking for a gift and trusting the gift I’m given even when it’s not what I exactly asked for in the long run, in his great big, amazing plan of the universe, it fits somehow. And that’s, that’s a hard thing to do. So.
It is. And how many times have we looked back on gifts that God has given us that have not been what we wanted and we’ve been, I know in my own life, it’s just been an ah like, wow, that was the perfect thing for at the time. I didn’t think so. And maybe even years later, I didn’t think that would work out, but God knows. He knows what we need and it’s not in the moment. It’s just like a parent. We have to look ahead too and be like, okay, God, this is for my good, maybe not in this moment, but maybe in five years or next week or next month.
Exactly. I look back to when I had the flu at that Moms in Prayer event, years and years ago, there was nothing good that I could see that came out of that, you know, being sick that week. And yet out of that was birthed a desire to love God more, which is the whole theme of Sweet Selah Ministries.
Right. Isn’t that amazing. And maybe he wouldn’t have gotten that chance to really get in, you know, put that seed in your heart if you hadn’t been so sick that weekend.
So it’s just neat. It’s just that, it’s that trusting. It’s hard, but we’ve got to just trust that he knows.
We do. And he says to keep on asking, keep on knocking. We can keep asking for the thing.
Don’t lose hope on it.
Right, right. And know that eventually it will be answered even if it’s answered later or in a different way, the heart of it will be answered, which is a closer walk with God.
Oh yeah. That’s true. That’s awesome.
So it’s kinda neat. Yes. So, all right. So now we have our last verse. Can you read it for us again because this kind of summarizes it all.
Yeah. ‘Do to others, whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets’.
I know. That’s it. Do to others as you want them to do to you. And that is what we have to think about. And that’s what you did when you role played with me the grocery store. You thought, okay. What if it was me? And my little child was kicking me because even though I’d like to believe they never would, it is possible. They could get mad enough that they would.
Right. And how would I want to be treated?
Exactly. So you basically modeled the golden rule in your example. So well done.
Well maybe I’ll have to give you a role play thing to do.
All right then.
So Sharon, you are in line at Kohl’s to do a return and you’ve been waiting patiently in line and someone cuts in front of you and takes your spot. What do you do?
So I’m annoyed already because that is so… if you’ve waited awhile.
Yes. So you’ve done the right thing and stood in line.
Exactly. Well, if I want to do to others, as they would do to me, if I cut in line, it would either be because I was so distracted by something that I just didn’t even notice, or I was panicked and desperate because I had to be somewhere, although I don’t think I’d even do it then, but I might. So I would have to, if I was doing unto others as I wish I’d be treated, I’d have to give grace, maybe say prayer for them because obviously something’s wrong. You don’t cut in line. You just don’t do that. Man!
It’s just not nice.
It’s just not nice. Don’t do that. And also what I found the hard way is being rude to a stranger can come back and really get you when you discover that you’ve met them somewhere else or you’re seeing them again? Not that that’s the primary motive. The primary motive is just being kind because God wants us to be kind, but I’ll never forget. I was at some kind of community fair when my kids were young and there were all these, it was for wives of the community, wives of the military men.
So you go to these different tables and people say, you know, I sell Tupperware. Would you like to be on my team? Or I’m running a Bible study. Would you like to join my Bible Study? Kind of like a college fair I guess, but for new wives to a community.
That’s really nice.
I know it was nice until I wrecked it.
So there’s this one woman at a table and she taught a positive form of parenting. Which I know now it doesn’t even raise my hackles. But back in the day when I was watching Dr. Dobson and was all about discipline and firmness, this was, Oh, I forget the name of the guy Haim Ginott, I think. Haim Ginott was all about letting the kid kick you basically.
And so Nicole, I was rude. I said to her, Oh no, this is not the table for me. This guy has ruined more children’s lives by not setting healthy boundaries for them. Can you stand it? Honest to Pete, you know what? These podcasts are really getting to me because everytime God makes me share something horrible…
It’s like deep confessions. I know.
…That I’ve done.
Oh but it’s so fun.
Terrible. Oh thanks.
Next week I have to dig up a good one.
So I walked away in this little huffy, self-righteous nastiness. And then I go to the Bible study next week. No joke. She’s sitting right beside me, right next to me.
Oh no. Of course.
No, of course she is. And God really spoke to me and said, you were unkind to her. And I expect you to apologize. I mean, he didn’t say it that audibly, but it was clear.
But you felt it.
Yeah. And she and I became friends and she actually had the grace to forgive me.
Because it really was rude. That was her table. What does Bambi’s skunk say? ‘If you can’t say nothing nice’.
‘Don’t say nothin’ at all’. What was…? Oh my goodness.
Sometimes we just get in moods and we do things like where did that come from?
I was not doing unto others. If I had been manning a table for Sweet Selah Ministries, I certainly wouldn’t want somebody to come up and say, ‘Oh, rest. Well, that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen you lazy person.’
Exactly. Oh my goodness. It’s such a good rule to remember.
It’s such a good rule. And sometimes it gets a little funny because like with birthday presents for Ray and me, what I like is surprises all wrapped up, but what Ray likes is to choose it himself. So ‘doing unto others’ is a little different there because if I did what I’d want done, I’d give Ray surprises and he’d make me choose my own presents. So you have to kind of look at it as ‘I would like someone to do things the way I like it’.
Yes. And so the way Ray likes it is, you know, honey, we’ve got a budget of $40, so have fun with it, and I’ll get you a card and I’ll make you your favorite cake, you know? And for me, you poor baby. He was like, I don’t know what to get her.
But I just love surprises. But doesn’t that mean more though, if they go out of their way to love you the way that you feel loved. Or to treat you. So that is, it goes beyond just like, well, I like this gift wrapped so you’re going to have to like it wrapped.
So you should like it.
But its still the heart of Jesus’ message, which is.
Thinking about others before yourself.
What are their needs and wants?
Exactly. So, Oh what a nicer place this world would be if we treated others as we would wish to be treated?
Yeah, how many problems would get solved?
No kidding. We really need to trust God that his ways are the wisest, even when we are tempted to get all judgy and critical with others. So let’s pray friends and ask for God’s help with this. Clearly we need help. At least Nicole and I do with giving grace and not being judgy. So let’s pray. Oh, heavenly Father. When a friend has a political view that I find unpalatable, help me to treat her as I would hope she would treat me and my views. And when my husband frustrates me, help me to treat him as I want him to treat me when I frustrate him. Lord, help all of us to be gentle with others, seeking your best for them and helping them bear their burdens. God, we need you to live out this great command. Only by your strength can we do it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Amen. Well friends. We are so glad you listened in on our discussion. Jesus’ words are stirring and challenging and I’m so glad to be studying them with you. Please share our podcast with your friends and maybe even write a review for us. Donate if you can, @Sweetselah.org/donate and write to us at Sweetselah.org/podcast. We would love to hear from you and be sure to come back next week for episode 23, The Narrow Way. Until then may God guide you as you follow him this week.
Speaker 1 (29:07):
We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for joining us.
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