Pastor's Pen
by Buzz Dahlen
I had the opportunity to get down to the Salmon River this past weekend.  I know that many of you have nothing positive to say about that river.  Many have had good friends and some even family members, lose their lives to that river, but for me it has always been a source of enjoyment.  At any rate, I was down to the river and got to swim around in the cool refreshing waters.  I have tried to spend more time down in the river this past couple months, I know it will be one of the things that I will miss most about this area.
I find it very interesting that we have the same experience when it comes to people.  There are people who some have nothing positive to say about.  Someone can go on and on with negative remark after negative remark about another person who you might not have that same perspective.  Do you know what I mean?  You can be so shocked to hear something being said about someone you know that is completely opposite of what you have experienced.  It is amazing sometimes how two people can have such a different opinion of the same person.  It is not unlike the Salmon River…  how does that happen.  As I said, it is about perspective.  Ever wonder what affects a person’s perspective?  What affects a person’s opinion?  There are a number of things, I am sure.  I want to offer two.
Jesus said; "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5
We can be so quick to judge others because the issues in our own lives that we might be unwilling to deal with affect our perspective.  
Paul writes: You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.  So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?  Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?  But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.  God "will give to each person according to what he has done."  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.  There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For God does not show favoritism.  Romans 2:1-11 It is amazing how so often the areas in our lives where we are having trouble with are the same areas that we point out in the lives of others.  We can be so quick to judge others when we see them doing the same thing or things that we are doing.
Paul gives the best solution to this later in his letter to the Romans:  Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  14:11 We all have to answer to the Lord for what we have done here on earth, don’t worry about what other people are doing, get your own life in order, you will be surprised how that changes your perspective.  God bless you all, it has been a blessing to be a part of your lives over these 13 years.  I hope you have been blessed as well…

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522



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