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September 2016 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

When we can see past evil

By Laurie Nichols

September 1, 2016

G.K. Chesterton once said, "A man knocking on the door of a brothel is looking for God." On the surface, this idea may seem absurd. But let’s stop for a minute and consider what this man might be fighting against internally or externally. Loneliness. Insecurity. Fear. Past pain. Feeling out of control. Each is a void he is trying to fill, and he is filling it with something that will make the void larger and the chasm wider.


And what is our response to this man?


How many times have we looked upon a woman who has abandoned her child for dead and labeled her a “monster”? Or called the radical Muslim “from the devil”? Or a drug dealer “scum of the earth”? When we are honest, how many times, in our hearts, have we judged those we perceive as having made poor decisions even on a ‘lesser’ scale?


First Samuel 16:7 has a critical message for us today: “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” What we need to hear in this, I believe, is that only when we go to the heart of a person can we be in a place to really judge him or her. What we see on the outside may mask deeper, hidden wounds and fears which unless uncovered will continue to lead to patterns of sin and woundedness.


Our calling as lovers of God is not to condemn others we do not understand. Our calling is to move near them and begin to discover what they are searching for as they make poor decisions. We look past the outer and we follow the very heart of God into listening and fellowship. We seek to know and understand how the image of God has been marred to such an extent that the person’s outward actions are working in contradiction to God’s plan for wholeness and fellowship with Him.


As good news bearers, we must unlabel those we perceive as unlovable. As a result, when they knock on the door to a bad decision, perhaps they may find us instead. And perhaps they may hear of the only One who can fill the void which has overcome them. Then there will no more doors to knock on.


~Laurie


Laurie is New Name's very own writer. She writes the beautiful monthly devotionals. The Lord has truly gifted Laurie and we are so grateful that she shares her talent for New Name. Thank you Laurie!