Tomorrow is Bible study day. We hold the study at a hall in Leisure Knolls - an over-55 community. I am probably the youngest member of these inspiring bunch of ladies. Most of the women are in their 70's and 80's and they most of them have been attending this particular group study for twenty years. However, I've only been leading it for two. They were mighty hard shoes to fill, as the prior leader was with them for 18 years and she was loved and respected for her teaching gift. Unfortunately, she went home to be with The LORD. I was then invited to sit in her seat and fill her shoes. I was a stranger to the group so, with a trembling heart, I sat and stepped.
Tomorrow's study is on John, chapter 7. In preperation, I studied to verse 24, where Jesus tells us not to judge according to appearances. Once again, He is dealing with me. I've had to overcome my own judgments about myself over the years. It's still something I actively work on. I can be my toughest critic when it comes to teaching or writing. Even though I know my teaching style is different than "her" teaching style and is unique unto its own, some days it is more difficult than others to quiet the voice in my head that tells my heart, I'm not good enough. I have to fight the constant battle in my mind. Just this week, after leaving our writing class, a friend boldly told me, "Diane, it's a smack in God's face if you say you are not as good a writer as the others." Wow...I was faced with, once again, my many judgments of myself. Lord, please forgive me!
I cannot teach others what I haven't walked through or faced myself. I learned about judging others many years ago, when The Lord showed me I had wrongfully judged my mother who had passed away years before. I received intense inner healing as I repented. The positive effect was life-altering for me, as ungodly fruit, produced from my judging nature, began to wither away and drop off of me.
Our Heavenly Father knows best. He is the One Who tells us not to judge - to leave that up to Him. Oh, how I pray The Holy Spirit will speak through me tomorrow reaching deep into the women's souls - convicting, healing, and setting them free! Thank You, Father, for this aweseome opportunity to use my life experiences as an example and to utilize the gift of teaching You have bestowed upon me.