My friend, Shaun Watkins, wrote this WMD
They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound on His side.” John 20:25
I have read this verse several times and each time I read it, it blows my mind that this disciple has been labeled as a doubter because of one verse in the Bible, one moment in time. I Googled “Thomas the Disciple,” and guess what came up? “Thomas the Doubter.” Really?
What has happened in this verse is the other disciples saw Jesus alive after His crucifixion. Thomas wasn’t there. When he was told that they had seen Jesus, this is when he says that he wouldn’t believe it unless he saw it himself. Sounds a little tough to label him a doubter for one sentence in his life, right?
Why do we overlook the verse when Thomas says, “Let us also go, that we may die with him?” (John 11:16) Here Thomas is talking to all the other disciples that seem scared to go back to Bethany when Lazarus had died because of an earlier incident where the Jews tried to stone Jesus. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a doubter to me. That sounds like a warrior. Why is Thomas not called Thomas the Warrior?
I have thought about this a lot over the past week or so because of a video I saw.
I recently watched a 10 second video from a meeting where the Superintendent of Education was speaking to the staff of a school. The school that my youngest son currently attends. In the video that was shared, the Superintendent made a remark that was loved by some and hated by others. I for one agreed with what was said in the short video that I viewed and made a long Facebook post in support of the Superintendent. I knew when I touched the submit button, I was opening myself to be blasted by those on both sides of the reaction, but I did not think about how God was going to use this in my life.
When I made the post, I was basing it off my feelings. I was basing it off my thoughts. I was basing it off my emotions. I was basing it off 10 seconds of time that did not show the entire picture.
Since making the post I have received text messages, phone calls, Facebook messages and replies, and even had a teacher come up to me while picking up my son. I have to say that each one of these incidents have opened my eyes. It has allowed me to see the bigger picture. The bigger picture is we can’t base an honest opinion off a short clip of anyone’s life.
See, like many, I wasn’t looking at the whole picture. I was looking at one frame of time. I honestly don’t know the heart, concerns, or burdens of the teachers that were being spoken to. And I don’t know the stress and heart of the Superintendent. So many of us took that clip and labeled everyone involved. Here are some of the things that I heard from this incident. “I can’t believe that the Superintendent is so cold hearted.” “I can’t believe someone in that position can be so ignorant.” Or “Can you believe that those teachers are such crybabies?” “That’s their job!” I could go on and on.
Here is the point: I feel like the Holy Spirit is wanting me to make. It is not fair for us to “label” people based on one moment of time. It doesn’t matter which side of the argument we are on, we don’t know the whole story or any story based on 10 seconds. We could all be labeled as something that we aren’t. Thank you, Lord, that I ain’t who I used to be.
Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t call us all the things that He could? Yet He calls us His Children, His Masterpiece, Redeemed, Chosen, Loved, Blessed and Highly Favored, SET FREE, and here is my favorite, HIS! We are His!
Father, thank you so much for what you have shown me over the past week. I am so grateful that you don’t take small snippets of my life and put them on blast. Thank you for “opening my eyes” to let me see the heart of those on both sides involved to realize I was wrong in the way that I handled this situation. Thank you for the love and compassion that I have been shown by those I’ve offended. I pray that I’m never a stumbling block for anyone! I pray for everyone reading this; that we don’t let one moment of our life label us, other than the moment of our Salvation! To HELL with the devil for letting us believe the lie that we are something that You’ve never called us. Reminded us today of who You say I am! Thank you that the only good thing about me is YOU.
In Jesus Name.