Back in the day, there was this inscription written on most side mirrors of vehicles telling you that what you saw in the mirror wasn’t exactly the way it appeared to be.
That there was a distortion of sorts by viewing through this object.
That phrase was embedded into my mind as a child and I didn’t know why until I began to grow in Christ and the Lord would use this analogy to show me that things aren’t always as they appear, many times even in our “righteous judgements”.
One of the areas that I see most getting it wrong in making judgement calls is in the motives or intentions of another.
I remember going on a missions trip once to another country with a group of phenomenal ministers. I was so excited to do it as I was in the company of some great men and women of God.
But while down there (as is the case at times on mission’s trips) a certain individual began to cross hairs with me.
I was zealous, excited and it came out in conversation.
I liken it to a business trip with a bunch of medical doctors where you are an up and coming doctor. When you get around all those doctors, what are you going to talk about? Medicine I would imagine. You would compare notes, ask questions, share testimonies, etc.
And that’s exactly what I did. But this individual misinterpreted my motives, instead of zeal and excitement, he deemed it as pride. He believed I was trying to show off.
In no way, was this my intention or motive. In fact, I felt that I was in company with higher ranking officials than myself, and in no way would I have even thought of myself as better than any of them.
But, once this seed was planted, it was like he began to see every move I made through that lens.
The itinerary of this trip was that each of us were to minister a different night at a local church in this country. The second night we were there, one of our group was to minister. As he was ministering, a woman began to manifest a demon. Naturally I would jump all over this as it was the primary scope of my ministry, but this wasn’t my arena. I was under another’s covering and I was still getting to know the people and they were still getting to know me, so I like people to release me when I’m in that type of environment, so I waited.
This other gentleman who presumed my motives were prideful ended up going over to this girl to minister to her. It was a challenging deliverance. The leader called our team to come up to the alter to minister. The gentleman who was ministering to this girl was very prophetic (when in the gift and not in the flesh), so I figured I could relieve him if he wanted to go and flow up at the altar. In my mind, it would have been likened to taking the low seat, and relieving him to go and minister up front.
But the next morning he asked to meet with me. He sat me down and began to accuse me of trying to be prideful. I asked him, how so?
He began to tell me that in his mind when I came up to relieve him, he was believing that I was doing it because I thought he was inadequate to carry out this task and that myself being a big bad deliverance minister would come in to handle the job.
I tried to explain to him that in no way was that what was actually happening, but rather that I knew he was more highly prophetic than I was and how beneficial that is at the altar, and I was simply relieving him so he could flow in his gift up front.
He wasn’t believing anything I said. He then went from that description to talking about how all I’ve talked about is ministry since I came was because I was trying to show off.
Taken back, I explained, “what are we here for?. I’m surrounded by a company of ministers and that’s kind of what you do when you’re in company of a certain field of work”.
Again, his mind was made up.
It was a scenario that really baffled me because I was stunned that he was just absolutely not receiving my report. I explained to him the thoughts I was having that led up to the actions that he described so he would know what was going on internally so he could hear my heart to properly navigate what he thought he was discerning, but it mattered nothing to him.
I realized this was a common case of witchcraft. See, witchcraft will always accuse others of what it is doing. See, it was actually pride in his heart that was preventing him from believing my witness of exactly what was going on in my heart so as to rightfully divide the motives or intentions of my heart. At which point he should have humbled himself and apologized for improperly judging my motives or my heart. Maybe that would have led to a lasting friendship as he got to know the actual me, rather than the false appearance that the enemy was trying to cause.
Scripture says “love believes all things”.
It gives people the benefit of the doubt by default, before it is suspicious of their motives by default.
When we are walking in love, we are more apt to have healthy relationships than when we are seeing through a distorted lens.
The motives or intentions of another is the #1 area I have seen the enemy foul up people’s perceptions.
It’s the number one way he attacks the ministry. Use the scenario of a new Christian or even a non-Christian who steps foot in church and believes that once they see the offering plate going around, that now church is all about money.
Or when a minister uses a title, no different than the Apostle Paul who wrote, “I Paul, an Apostle…”, they are falsely perceived as prideful or self-seeking because of it.
Nobody has ever thought this of the Apostle Paul for doing it, why? Then why do we do it today?
How did Paul handle this when there were claims against others for even manifesting this behavior? He literally said “even if people preach Christ out of selfish ambition, I am just glad that Christ is preached at all”.
Sometimes I wish we would respond like Paul did, and relinquish the high and lofty courts of our hearts and release people from the judgements within.
Because that’s really where pride is really manifest more often, is in the judgement of others in our hearts.
We must guard our selves from impure perceptions of others.
How do we know? Communication is of the utmost importance in these matters.
Every person deserves a chance to be heard. And they also deserve that you test all things, including what you believe you are perceiving concerning them.
Knowing this, guard it above all things, because out of it flow the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23