Friday, October 1

Sweet and Sour

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.


22 Responses
  1. MTJ Says:

    Hi Lynn/Donna,

    I enjoyed reading this post. It addresses something not easily discussed. I think each of us face issues of inadaquacy in our life; our confidence may be shaken, we experience envy, or we may feel we don't measure up to a standard of some kind.

    I believe the Lord teaches us not to rely on our own strength, choosing instead to trust in His grace to do what we can't under our own power, talents and abitity.

    I'm learning that my opinion of someone has often been a reflection of a real shortcoming in my own life that I have yet to surrender to the Lord.

    This post honestly shares a personal issue you faced and how the Holy Spirit helped you overcome your opinion of another person. That's a lesson for me.

    Blessings and peace.


  2. Jennifer Says:

    Thank you for this beautiful account. Pride and envy are weaknesses I surely struggle with.

    With Christ's Love,

  3. Lynn, thank you for sharing this post. I recently met Donna in person after knowing her online for a long time and greatly admire her and her writing.

    Donna, you have certainly hit on something many of us face in our pride and judging others. Thanks for sharing how the Holy Spirit worked in your life to see the truth and develop a close relationship.

  4. I truly enjoyed reading this well-written post as well Donna/Lynn. From my perspective, it takes a "sweet and godly woman" to admit that she misjudged or was wrong in first impressions of another human being :).

    Your friend,


  5. wishes398 Says:

    Thankyou for sharing this. I agree with the others. It takes a lot to admit that you judged someone wrongly. I have done this also.

  6. Linore Says:

    Hi Donna (and Lynn)
    Donna, it's not easy being so honest about judging people wrongly--thanks for the honesty and reminder. We all do this at times, don't we?


  7. lynnmosher Says:

    MTJ, Jennifer, Connie, JoAnne, wishes, and Linore...

    Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to support Donna's post. Your comments are deeply appreciate.

    May the Lord bless each of you!

  8. Donna's honesty in reflecting on her reasons for her opinions about Betty create an open door for us to do the same in the relationships in our own lives. As always, her devotions leave me with much to think about and a closer walk with God. So grateful for her leadership and friendship...and that she lead me to this awesome blog! Thanks to both for sharing!!!

  9. MTJ, Amen! I thought I knew it all, but was woefully ignorant with regard to Betty's character and walk with the Lord. I never met a more genuine Christian. Thanks for the comment.

  10. Jennifer, don't we all? I guess I was conceited enough (back to the Bible verse...) to think that my struggle had nothing to do with pride and/or envy. lol! God surely taught me a lesson. Thanks for stopping by and reading my guest post.

  11. Hi, Connie! What a pleasure it was to meet you in person and get to enjoy your sweet disposition. Thanks for taking time to comment on my post.

  12. JoAnne, I have to watch myself after reading your comment or I might get the 'bighead' again. *grin* Thank you so much.

  13. wishes398, thanks so much! I visited your blog. Those hats you made are adorable!

  14. Linore, thanks for the second. Unfortunately, yes. But I learned a huge lesson with sweet Betty. Now I listen to the Holy Spirit's promptings with more care. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Lynn, thanks for allowing me to share. I have to say I'm not usually quite this personal in my postings, so it felt good to admit one of my many failings and see that I have sisters in the Lord who identify and encourage each other. Great blog.

  16. Elaine, you are a treasure. Thanks for the kind comments. Glad you found Lynn's blog, too. She's a sweetheart.

  17. freckles Says:

    Thanks Donna, for this important lesson. It is easy to forget the small things that displease God, like pride and conceit. But they make big obstructions in my life. They keep me from the sweetness of Christ Jesus. Well written and highlighted.

  18. Thanks, freckles. (I like that name. I used to be called that occasionally!)

  19. A very helpful post. I don't want to misjudge people, but know I do sometimes. I appreciate the relevant Scriptures to assist me. Thanks

  20. Thank you, Norma. Your stopping by means a lot to me.

  21. Donna, m'friend...This is what I appreciate about you. You are candid about your struggles. If more of us would allow that into our lives, others could see the Lord at work.

    Thank you for reminding me that my first impressions aren't important; it's what God wants to do in my life or someone else's. It's His call, and for a purpose of His own.

    This really blessed me!
    Love you, friend. Bonnie

  22. Bonnie, thank you! Sometimes I think I'm too candid for my own good - and as a pastor's wife. lol!

    I'm blessed that you were blessed. ♥