Some weeks ago, I noticed a link that was posted online, pointing to an article criticizing Joyce Meyer. The author had even included a link to an audio of her teaching on the subject of redemption. The teaching did come across as questionable doctrine, but nothing I have ever heard her teach in recent years. It also sounded as if it were very old – possibly 20 years or more, and very early in her ministry career. Therefore, I sent a copy of the article to Joyce Meyer Ministries (JMM) and asked for an explanation. They responded that indeed it was very old and Joyce had did not teach that anymore. Obviously, the author of the critical author was in “gotcha mode” and was looking for anything to discredit JMM. Never stated in the article was the source or age of the audio either.
Joyce Meyer impacts people around the world. I work with people who never attend church but talk about how much they like her. She has never said she is perfect or near arrival. Matter of fact, she is often quite candid about her faults and weaknesses in the present and certainly regarding her past marriage and family life. She has overcome an upbringing of abuse and used it for the glory of God.
In our own daily lives, we have heard people say things like this: “Well, Johnny is too immature. He is always too harsh. He could never be used by God because you know what he used to do when we were growing up?” I could give many more examples. I hear this kind of talk too often among fellow disciples. Parents (self included) are probably the most likely to do this, especially when we are frustrated and angry regarding our child’s negative behavior. Especially be careful with statements that include phrases like “You will never…” or “You always…”
Too often we speak forth and place such judgments around other people, in essence, placing them in a prison of condemnation. And even more disturbing is that we often refuse to let them grow out of their moments of failure and weakness. We take first impressions, negative experiences, and even bad days and misunderstandings (we all have them, don’t we?) and speak them over people. It’s much like placing walls around them and refusing to let them escape. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21). But Jesus focused more on what his disciples could become more than where they had been. More specifically, sometimes I think he chose some of the most suspect, unqualified, rag-tag guys to be his first disciples and build His Church just to prove this very point.
Sometimes we seem to find some strange comfort in labeling and placing people in a box. It’s a subtle form of control. But it is not in line with the redemptive heart of our Father. Try to see people’s gifts, talents, and personality with redemptive eyes. Reverse the judgments and curses you have spoken over them, and instead speak life and blessing over them. Use your words and encouragement to create fertile ground around them – a place they can grow and develop according to God’s destiny for them. Everyone was created BY God, so everyone has a DESTINY FROM God. It’s your job to help them find it.
I would like to close by adding one more important point for believers who are the victims of unfair judgments. Others may have placed judgment walls around you, including people with delegated authority over you, such as parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, and yes, even pastors. Some of those people may no longer be living or maybe living far away and out of relationship with you now. You may not even know where to find them if you had to. As a believer, you can ask God to remove the curses and judgments placed on you. There is no magic prayer formula for this action, you only need to be intentional. The more specific you can be, the better. However, it may not be just one prayer as God may reveal the specific issues and memories a little at a time, over time. I have even heard of people going to the grave site of a parent to do this, and at the same time forgiving them for the sin. Again, there is no specific formula. God will show you the steps.
If others have attempted to imprison you with their words, forgive them, rebuke the words spoken over you, and move into freedom. If you attempted the same to others, even if unintentional, go the them and ask for forgiveness. Speak words of blessing over them!
“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:6-11
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