Welcome to Week 3 … Thoughts of Others
Grace! Grace! Grace! I need it today (and everyday!). I’ll explain in a moment.
If you’ve ever been in need of grace, then you understand how to extend grace to others. If you’ve never had a great need for grace, however, you can’t truly extend it.
This quote is from my friend Christin. It’s become her new motto. She knows how to extend grace because she’s experienced the depth of its love, peace, comfort, and freedom. Did I just say freedom? Yes! There is freedom not only in the extension of grace but also in the reception of it.
What, you may be asking, does grace have to do with the topic of our Bible Study? Everything!
Our topic this week is “thoughts of others.” This can go either way, girls. It can mean the thoughts we think about others, or the thoughts other think about us. Either way, there is some major grace that needs to cover these kinds of thoughts AND there are some things we’ve got to begin to “four-eight” with regard to this topic.
I’m going to get up on my little soapbox for a moment and just vent about this topic a bit. May I just say that I get sooooo weary of hearing some of the judgmental and comparative thoughts that come out of women’s mouths.
Things such as …
“She’s a stay-at-home mom so she’s living the easy life” (Are you kidding me!?!)
or in contrast …
“Bless her heart, she’s a working mom. No wonder her house is a mess or her children act the way they do. I mean, she’s never home.” (Really??!!)
How about this one, “Can you believe she wears those expensive clothes? Surely she could spend her money more wisely.”
“Eating organic is so much healthier. I don’t know why she doesn’t insist that her family does.”
The opposite is equally as annoying …“Eating organic is ridiculous. Why would she spend her money on that!”
From homeschooling, private, or public education to driving a mini van, SUV, or sports car could we all just agree on a few things?
- Everyone is different!
- God calls people to different things at different times and for different reasons and that’s OK!!!
- Just because I don’t do it the way you do it, doesn’t mean my way is wrong!
- Sometimes (most of the time) it’s just not my business!
Ok, let me jump down off my soapbox now and get back to business.
So far we’ve talked about nothing that is “sinful” just things that are different. So what if somone you know sins, then what? Then can you judge? NO! In all of these instances, whether they are simple differences or sins, this is where the grace comes in. Extend it, receive it, LIVE IN IT!
We must, when tempted to judge or compare, begin to “four-eight” this stuff instead of falling into the sin trap of judging or comparing.
Ask yourself, “Is it true? Is it just? Is it honorable? Is it just? Is it pure? Is it lovely? Is it commendable, excellent or worthy of praise?
I began this post with the words, “Grace, grace, grace,” and I said I’d explain. I needed grace for week 3 of this study. In the Wrap-up for week 2, I said that I would post on Friday. Well, I didn’t. I wasn’t ready to post. I had a very busy week and just couldn’t get it all done. So, I began feeling guilty, wondering what you would all think of me if I didn’t post when I said I would. Do you know what I had to do with those thoughts? I had to “four-eight” them! I had to decide that I needed grace and that you would extend it to me. I can’t tell you how freeing it was to just rest in that grace.
I look forward to diving into the word with you this week and learning more about what the Bible says about how we should think of others and how others should think of us.
Let’s get to it!
Click on the “Homework” button to download this week’s questions.
Jacqueline Heider says
Hello, friends! I hope you’ve been working on week 3. Let me hear from you!! JQ
The Scripture lessons this week are rich and take the heart and mind in a myraid of directions, seeing the truth from various angles. Thoughts go from magnifying how we frequently over react and identify “faults” or differences on others to the contrast of God as the Shepherd who walks with us inspite of our responses to life’s circumstances. The lesson early on becomes that we do not need to justify or identify with negatives; rather, focus on God’s character as He loves and blesses us. We are to be like Him in our behavior. With God we need nothing more – no greater love, no greater approval, no greater blessing. Often our greatest challenge comes with offering grace to those WE believe are not worthy. WE can have a long list. In truth, we must all come to the altar for mercy, and we all come with the same need for grace. At the altar, there is grace for all just as there is equity of need. Remembering this might create room in our minds, in our hearts, in our everyday life for greater compassion and empathy for whoever passes our way. Good lesson, Jacqueline! Thanks for taking my mind on a journey to deeper parts of my heart and highest places of blessing. – dho
Jacqueline Heider says
Thanks for your insight, Donna! I love this sentence from your comment in particular … “Remembering this might create room in our minds, in our hearts, in our everyday life for greater compassion and empathy for whoever passes our way.”
Thank you for commenting!