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Intimacy and Judgment

There are certain ways to talk to certain people because of the intimacy you have with them. Jesus made the twelve disciples his intimates. He sat with them all the time. He would ask them a question, like, “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples replied that people were saying Jesus was John the Baptist, or Elijah, or the prophets. And Jesus asked them, “Okay, and now who do you say I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ.” And Jesus warned them to tell no one. Mark 8:27-30

He built intimate relationships with the disciples, talking to them, asking their opinions, making them His confidants.

He went on talking to them, and the Bible tells us:

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Mark 8:31-33

Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan.” He said that right to Peter’s face. Jesus could see Peter as the copper pipe. Jesus was in essence saying, “I know who is controlling your thoughts right now, and I know which way you’re acting, and you need to get away from me. You are not who you think you are right now.” So He looked at Peter and said, “Get behind me.” Jesus was very comfortable with His intimate friends. I guarantee you He was not going to go to some random person and say, “Get behind Me, Satan.” He could have devastated people. He understood that.

In general, the lesson of the copper pipe can keep you from judging, but when it comes to intimate relationships, there needs to be dialogue. That is where intimate relationships are different from other relationships. I don’t think your dialogue needs to consist of telling the people closest to you, “Get behind me Satan.” You’re not Jesus! You can see others as copper pipes, but you can’t see into them the way Jesus can. Still, you have to talk to them.

Other people do things that bug us, and so we want them to change. The problem is they’re never going to change. I can hear someone now, saying, “Yes, but there’s this thing that bugs me about my husband, or my wife. I want them to change. They need to know that it bugs me.” Well then, talk to them about it. Tell them, “This is what you’re doing that’s bugging me.” But you need to remember that they cannot change without the hot water. Unless they choose to access the hot water, change will never happen. And they may or may not see that the relationship will suffer.

You can’t fix a relationship. You in your own power cannot fix another person. You can fix you. You can ask God to show you what you need to do. You can ask God to show you who you need to be. Why not ask God to show you why you need to stop treating your husband or your wife the way that you treat them? Maybe some of the stuff that they’re doing is reflective of who you’re being. If you’re being a jerk, they’re going to act like you’re a jerk. Quit being a jerk! Then maybe they’ll start loving you like you’re the person God means for you to be. Try saying this: “God, you know what? I need to quit telling my husband all the things he does wrong. How about if I just focus on me.” Or try saying this: “Hey God, I need to access you right here. Maybe it’s my irritability or maybe it’s my critical spirit with my wife that’s causing this to happen. So I’m going to encourage my wife more.”

There’s the hot water.

And then you watch. You watch how that relationship changes.

See you Saturday.

3 thoughts on “Intimacy and Judgment

  1. Great words of wisdom and yet it can be hard sometimes. I want my needs to be met. I desire love, respect and acknowledgement, and yet I realize that maybe I just need to love my wife. Not be focused on what she is/or not doing and instead just seek to love and bless her.

  2. I love this practical, frank example of what it’s like to experience the hot water. Encouragement replaces criticism and judgment, and that is God’s spirit, flowing through us.

    This makes it so easy to understand what you mean when you write about “hitting the hot water.” It means loving others with His love. Loving others like the father in the parable loved his prodigal son. This is someone you love, and nothing else matters. You know nothing but joy that they came home. That is how God welcomes each one of us. So why not show that same love to the people in our lives? He LOVES us! All we’re doing is letting that love flow out to everyone else.

    In our house, the highlight of the day is the moment when my husband comes home. It’s as though all the lights come on. I think that’s how God feels when we turn to Him, when we love others with His love, or, as you put it, when we hit that hot water. I’m starting to understand this so clearly. I’m starting to understand why you say this is so huge, so amazing, so life-changing. I haven’t completely absorbed the lesson yet, but as I learn to see myself as an agent of His love, selfishness become irrelevant and fulfillment and meaning take its place.

  3. Jeremy, I am a big fan – both on and off the field. Thank you for providing these inspirations. We all need these constant reminders to think and act from a higher place, and your posts do just that.

    The metaphor of the copper pipe really hits home for me. I have been on a spiritual journey for some time and wish I could impart the lessons and love I have learned with many of my friends and family. This post reminds me that we are all each on our own journey and the best thing I can do for my loved ones is ‘hold a space’ for them to find the beauty in God for themselves. Peace to you and best of luck this season.

    See you at AT&T!


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