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Pointing Fingers

Pointing fingers never lead me to the right answers. Only love did that. Heaven Not Harvard(Last Updated On: April 30, 2016)

I’ve seen a lot of Pointing Fingers on the internet in the past year about gay marriage, abortion, Planned Parenthood, Target’s restroom policy, etc.

But I haven’t see anyone change his/her opinion because of pointing fingers who declare they have a lock on the truth. Instead of arguing, I just wanted to tell you a small part of my story. Pointing fingers never lead me to the right answers. Only love did that. Heaven Not Harvard

Nothing I ever did was out of a desire to destroy my life or ruin my relationships or disrespect my parents, but I did do all of those things. From the time I was a teenager, hormones and burgeoning independence and following the popular cult of ME led my life down incrementally dark paths.

Pointing fingers never led me to God. Only love did. We must respond rightly to those stuck in sin. Click To Tweet

I made choices that felt good or seemed right at the time. I dated boys who treated me terribly because I believed I needed their affirmation of my worth. I lied and hid destructive behaviors and thoughts. Deep inside I knew I was hurting myself, but I didn’t see any way out of what I perceived as having already done too much wrong to ever be right.

Once I had sinned sexually, I felt dirty and spoiled. (Never mind that we all sin sexually. Whether it is an inappropriate thought, pornography, or physical acts, none of us stay completely pure.)  Somehow sexual sin seemed like the ONLY sin anyone was talking about, and I had already screwed that up. No one was talking about what to do after sexual sin. People talked generally about forgiveness, but it didn’t seem personal, and I didn’t know how to get it.

My dad, mom, church youth group, and pastors preached Bible verses at me. I knew all the right answers to the “good Christian” questions. I thought I knew God, but I hadn’t ever really let Him in, and I didn’t know the difference.

I tried hiding the hurt and pain, but that was like pouring caustic acid onto the floor and hoping a cute throw rug will hide it. It might do the trick temporarily, but the acid will keep eating away at everything underneath, leaving a dark, gaping hole of decay.

Hiding my pain was pouring acid on the floor & thinking a cute throw rug will hide it. Click To Tweet

I felt beyond hope, beyond redemption, that my only course of action was to run from God and everything God-adjacent. I thought He had to hate me for my weakness, and all the angry, shaming, pointing fingers just made me want to keep running and give God a big middle finger.

So I did. I lived by my own definition of morality, but I still felt worthless and hopeless underneath all the independent bravado. I even spent years attending church (using a prettier rug over the acid hole) and acting like a “Christian” on the surface, but every day felt like a battle to maintain the exterior facade.

My dad asked me this week, “So what finally changed?”

“I started hearing God’s voice over yours .  .  .” I said, and his deep voice erupted in a throaty chuckle.

(We both laughed because we can from where I’m standing today, because I found my way home, but it came at a price of decades of my life lived lost.)

I finished my thought, ”  .  .  . and decided that I needed my own relationship with God, one that didn’t have you in the middle of it. I needed to know who God is, what God says for myself, not through your filter, but on my own.”

Telling me I was sinning pushed me away, building more shame in my heart. Finger pointing never worked. Quoting scriptures didn’t make me believe they were true for myself. None of it meant anything until I chose to stand in front of God screaming I want you. I want you. I want you no matter what.

I can’t explain what changed except that God reached down into my heart and said, “Here I am, where I have always been, waiting for you.”

I remember the exact moment, like seeing my daughter’s face for the first time, pure unadulterated love. Just writing these words makes me cry tears of joy. Because by seeing my sin through God’s eyes made me understand forgiveness and grace. For the first time in my life I understood the struggle was between God and Satan, and God was trying to save me.

We need to put away the pointing fingers and open our arms in love. We don’t have to define sin. God already did that, and most people know what the Bible says about sin. But knowing the Bible only matters after we’ve met the Author.

We need to spend more time introducing people to Him.

If you saw someone limping down the road, would you question their choices or offer help? Click To Tweet

If you saw a woman limping down the highway, miserable and in pain, miles from anywhere, you wouldn’t drive by questioning her life choices that led her to that spot, would you?

Would you slow down and shout, “Hey, you’re limping!”

Would you toss her a pamphlet?

Or would you open the door to your car, welcome her inside, and offer to take her with you?

The only finger we need to point is towards ourselves. Look who I was and how I’ve been loved and saved. So people want to know, “where do I find that?” and then we can point them in the right direction.

Standing for truth and clarity is still important, but we need to start from a place of love heavily washed in prayer and time with God before we start trying to reach into other’s lives.

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25 thoughts on “Pointing Fingers

  1. This is awesome. It is so often that I see fingers pointing, especially online, behind a computer screen, and some of the times it is from very angry Christians- this hit the nail on the head, that we each have our own testimony, our own walk with God, we cannot tell someone else to live, we need to be worried more about our own walk with God. “You can catch more bee’s with honey than lemon.” Loved it!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it and understood that we don’t have to condone to love.

  2. Thank you for this brave and beautiful post. I completely agree with your thoughts around shame and pointing people to him through Grace! Have you ever read any books by Brene Brown? She is a shame and vulnerability researcher and is amazing. Thanks for the great read today!

    1. I am glad you were blessed by it. I will have to look into her. I’ve never heard of her. Sounds like someone I would benefit from reading and sharing.

  3. You are right. Our focus should be on leading people to Christ. Then allow Him to convinct them regarding their lifestyles.

    1. Convicting others is a gentle process. We usually do it best when we point towards ourselves and they are tuned into what Christ is saying.

  4. I, too, love this! There is nothing that warms my heart more than a testimony that shows a real life.

    1. Thank you, Kate. It is the hardest to share, but so much freedom in living forgiven and redeemed instead of in the shame of my past.

      1. Oh I agree! I struggle with accepting His grace, I want to hide parts of me in shame, but that means I’m rejecting His grace, so I have worked on accepting His forgiveness and grace and embracing the path I’ve taken!

        1. Luther’s catechism says that we confess our sins to each other to keep them from being secret shame that become walls between us and God.

  5. So brave of you to share this! Excellent reminder for all of us.

  6. I love reading this because you are so honest and open and it just invites the reader in! Thanks for sharing more about your story and a beautiful reminder to all of us! So thankful for HIS grace!

  7. “Telling me I was sinning pushed me away” Yes! We are called to love! Great testimony.

    1. Thank you, Heather.

  8. and not pointing towards anyone else 😀

  9. You have a powerful testimony and may God bless you for sharing! We are all sinners and I’m so grateful for grace as well! Blessings!

    1. Sharing this one was really hard. Another post that was deep for me was Packing Peanuts. Very hard to share my failures, but it is with confession we are truly free. What can people hold against us when we expose it first?

  10. Jen, I love everything you write, but this is my favorite thing I have ever read from you! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing personal details of your own journey to God. Your message here is just so, so good. I wish everyone would be more concerned with their own sins rather than their perceived sins of others.

    1. I feel the same about your blog. Such a compliment coming from you!! It is a struggle. We all want to focus on the rules as if the adherence to them is what saves us. We need reminders that we follow the rules because God has saved us and influences our hearts.

  11. you are so right, the more fingers we point at people, the further we are pointing them away from God

  12. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your personal testimony about God’s incredible power to break chains! I’m so happy you are my sister in Christ!

    1. Thank you, Beverly. Only God can break those chains. As hard as it is to watch someone drowning in them, we can’t free them. We can simply show them our joy in true freedom.

  13. true – we’re only supposed to be “pointing” towards God 😀

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