Background picture: anointing Jesus' feet - came in an e-mail - artist unknown

Wrong Perceptions by Frances M. Meservy April 12, 2014

Our daughter Stephanie was impulsive and would dart away from you.  She was not aware of danger and fearless in her actions.  She loved to play catch me if you can (or that's what we called it).  When I was pregnant with her brother, I could no longer chase her and if we were walking anywhere, she would jerk away and run ahead.  She would climb over the fence in search of other children to play with. She had no qualms about crossing a busy intersection.  Unless you have a child who is an escape artist, you will probably not understand how nerve wracking it can be. 

My first clue was when she was eleven months old, crawling across the living room floor as fast as she could.  I asked, "Where are you going Stephie?"  Her answer was, "Away from home."    I thought it was cute.  Little did I know that I would spend the next 19 years looking for her.

The harness for children hit the market when she was 18 months old.  I was probably one of the first parents to get one.  If she wanted to play in the yard, I would put it on her and attach it to the clothes line.  She would have full run of the yard but could not reach the fence or gate.  Her Daddy installed a seat belt that went over the back seat and bolted into the trunk floor.  The harness was tied to the seatbelt so she could stand up, sit down or lay down.  She could reach her blanket, pillow, bottle, toy or book; but if there was an accident, she would be kept safe (that was in 1967).  If we were taking a walk, the harness went on and we could control how far ahead of us she could go.  That harness saved her life more than one time.

In 1968 my Mom, Stephie & I (I was 7 months with David) were walking down the sidewalk in Beaumont, TX on the way to J. C. Penny's.  We were almost to the intersection when Stephie bolted.  I yanked on the harness and it sat her down just as a Semi barreled past.  It shook Mom and I up so bad that we went into Luby's to unwind.  We got a light lunch & Iced tea and just as we sat down we overheard a couple of ladies say, "What kind of Mother puts their child on a leash like a dog?"  My mother indignantly responded, "That leash just saved her life.  Would you prefer she was hit by the Semi that just passed?"  We finished our meal and went shopping without any more incident.

After Al & I got married (1965), about 2 or 3 times a year we would go to a club, have a drink and dance with each other.  I was Baptist and knew that the church (members) would condemn me for doing this; but I felt at total peace with it.  Every time we went, someone would come over and say, "Lady you're a Christian.  Would you explain something to me?"  I had a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other so I could not figure out how they knew I was a Christian.

I finally asked, "Don't you have Christian friends who would be happy to answer your questions?"  He answered, "Yes but they will not set foot in my house because I drink.  You on the other hand love so much that you will go where I am."  I answered his questions."  I have no clue whether any of these people ever fell in love with Jesus or not; but I introduced Him to them.  The rest is in God's hands.  I just stayed in God's faith & peace without knowing what he wanted me to do. 

If I am moved by God (through His peace and faith), I am in God's will.  The opposite of peace is turmoil.  If I am in turmoil about something, I don't do it. Faith is the opposite of doubt; so if I am in doubt, I don't do it.  Let the peace of God guide you.

My point here is that another person has no idea why someone does something.  That's why we should not pass judgment on each other. We have no idea what God is leading someone to do.  We each have been created, given personalities, gifts and have been taught by the Holy Spirit according to what God is calling us to do. 

God created me in a unique way.  I was given a steady, influential personality which culminates into an Agent.  He gave me a missionary heart with the gifts of evangelism, faith, working miracles, word of wisdom & word of knowledge.  When I was 3 years old, He filled me with his Spirit and filled my heart with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control.  His Holy Spirit started teaching me from His word when I was only 5 years old.  I am now 70 and He is still teaching me.  That is me - each person is created individually (different in some way) and has a different purposes on their lives.  We are not one the same.  That's why we are not to judge one another.  Only God knows what he is causing a person to be or do.

Like in the story about the woman who bathed Jesus' feet with an expensive oil.  Some condemned her for what she did but Jesus praised her.  Thing we as individuals must remember is that we are here to please Jesus - not man.  So if God leads you by His peace to do something out of the ordinary, do it. 

An even greater extreme in the Old Testament is about Amos who God told to marry a harlot.  He did it to teach Amos that God was patient and long suffering while waiting for us to return to him.  He showed him the pain and love involved in waiting for His people to return to Him.  So what looks bad on the surface may not at all be a sin.  Only God knows that.

Mark 14:3-9 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted? "For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized her sharply.
     But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. "For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. "She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."

John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

Mat 7:1-2 "Judge not, that you be not judged. "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Mat 11:18-19 "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."

Luke 10:5-8 "But whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house.' "And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. "And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. "Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.

Col 2:16-23 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations; "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using; according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

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