Today is another segment of the series, which is written by another sweet cyber-friend Donna Shepherd. Donna has several sites you can visit:
Sweet and Sour
“Be not wise in your own conceits.”
Romans 12:16c KJV
A few years ago, we had a somewhat older woman visit our church. I greeted her and talked to her a bit after church. She started attending regularly and soon won the heart of my husband, the pastor. He told me, “That is one of the sweetest and godliest women I’ve ever met.”
Now is she? Or is she trying too hard? Every time we talked to her, she peppered her conversation with Bible verses. And I’m not talking about one or two. She might quote ten scriptures at a time. And the sweetness? That couldn’t be genuine. She almost dripped syrup from her pores.
I pride (my first mistake!) myself on having a discerning spirit. I simply know when someone is trying to fool my husband or me. She might seem like a sweet old woman, but she’s going to have to prove herself to me!
First, weeks then months went by and I never saw anything that would contradict my husband’s first impression. Betty turned out to be a stalwart of faith, and eventually an elder in our church. I finally admitted to my husband that I had misjudged this in woman when we first met.
Perhaps my jealousy over her seemingly effortless way of memorizing and quoting scriptures stirred up a feeling of inferiority in me. Maybe it was the sweetness that never abated. Sometimes I’m called sweet, but in comparison, I felt sour. Plus the fact that most of the time, my first impressions turn out to be right. This time, I could not have been more wrong.
The Amplified Bible says, “Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16c). Although most of the time, I do have a discerning spirit – which is such a blessing when in ministry, this time I had let my own opinion and made-up mind override the Holy Spirit’s nudge when He would say to me, “Yes, she’s the real thing. She serves and loves Me.”
The apostle Paul wrote a word of warning to the Galatian church, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:25-26). Are you letting jealousy, pride, or feelings of inferiority keep you from ministering or having a relationship with someone in your church?
I am the pianist for our church services. I found out Betty played as well and asked her if she would help by playing an offertory. “Oh, I don’t know,” she said. “I get so nervous playing in front of people.”
After much urging, she played beautifully. She told me after church how much she admired me for my talent and ability to play with ease for the services. I was humbled and blessed, and once again, asked God for forgiveness for letting pride and conceit in my ability to judge people almost abort my precious relationship with sweet Betty.