Frankie Mazzapica - Refusing To Judge Yourself, God and Others
Thank you for tuning in today, my name is Frankie Mazzapica. The title of the message is "Refusing to Judge Yourself, God, and Others". Refusing, and I know that the center one, the second one, is the one that kind of perks most of your attention, because it's like, I'm gonna forgive God, I'm not gonna judge God. Just be patient, I'll get there in a minute, but there are certain things that keep us stuck in life, and one of those is our propensity, realize I'm saying our. I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to us. Our propensity to judge, to judge ourselves, and oftentimes we're harder on ourselves than we are others. We're quicker to forgive others than we are ourselves, and so we get stuck in these seasons, but the breakthrough moments can change everything.
I was looking back on a few thoughts of these completely shifts, these huge shifts in our society. Some of you guys as I do remember the Cold War in the 1980s where the United States and the Soviet Union, we had this Cold War where everybody thought any second there was going to be a war. And so, Ronald Reagan, our president, would sit down with the leader of the Soviet Union, and they would negotiate. These negotiations were so sensitive that if one person said something that offended the other person, the red button would be hit. And as one of the meetings went on, there was such heated debates between our president, Ronald Reagan, and Mikhail Gorbachev. They were getting so heated that all of a sudden, President Reagan started banging on the table, and he said, "This is not working. This is not working". So, he's banging on the table, and he goes, "We just need to start over".
So, he stands up from the table, he walks out of the room, shuts the door behind him, he comes back into the room, and he walks up to Mikhail and he says, "Hello, my name is Ronald, it's nice to meet you". And the whole room started laughing, and he sits down, and at that moment, the relationship just took a completely different shift. It's these moments of tremendous humility and a wherewithal, because when our emotions start building momentum, it's almost like you end up in a situation of emotions, and you're like, how did I get here? But I'm already so deep in it now, I'm in it to win it. And so, I wanna talk about that a little bit, and just kind of unpack it, because if there's one thing that holds us back the most is the judging, the resentment, and oftentimes it's not us being jerks, we have legitimately been hurt.
And so, I'm gonna tackle the very first one, is not refusing to judge ourself. I am more critical on myself than I am anyone else. My son ruined my shoes last night, ruined them. He was like, "Hey, I can clean them up. By the time I clean them up..." there was a pair of tennis shoes that I liked a lot. He goes, "I'll clean them up. By the time I get done cleaning them up, they're gonna look better than new". I was like, "Well, get on it, baby, let's do it". He comes back, half of the shoe is baby blue, the other half of the shoe is royal blue, and I'm looking at it and they were my favorite shoes, and I'm looking at it, and I'm like, I turn it around and I show it to him, and he went, "Ehh".
Now, if I would have did that, I would have been upset. I looked at him, I was like, hey, no big deal. No big deal. He felt so bad. I was like, don't worry about it. It's not a big deal. Again, grace for other people just like you, but hard on ourselves. This is what Paul challenges us to do. It's in Philippians chapter 3 verse 13, he says this. He goes, forget what is behind. Sometimes it's 10 years ago, sometimes it's 20 years ago. I don't know about you, I think about something 20 years ago and I just go into a complete whirl spin and try to shake myself out. It happened two decades ago. He says this, "Forget what is behind, looking forward to what lies ahead. Press on and reach to the end of the race to receive the heavenly gift which is from God through Jesus Christ which he has called us all".
He's saying forget about it. Forget about it. And like I said, of the three, this one's the hardest for me, because at a certain point, we have to remember that we are made from dust. We have no chance of living a life, and looking back, and saying, man, I made every single good decision you could possibly make. We have no chance. In the mistakes that we made, we didn't wake up that morning and say I'm gonna make a mistake today that I'm gonna regret for the rest of my life. We did not do that. So, let me encourage you with this. The next time you wanna beat yourself up because of some regretful thing you did or said, remember this. There's a big difference between being evil and making a mistake, a massive difference, and none of you in this room are evil.
You make mistakes because you're human, and the Lord wants you to know that he has forgiven you of your mistakes and he's challenging you. Forget what is behind and look forward to what lies ahead. Don't get stuck. Come on, put your hands together for that. I know it's not as easy as it sounds. I say it all the time, I'm anointed to preach about it, but I have to live it just like everyone else. I have a daughter in high school, and if you've ever... and of course, most of you guys know this, that at high school football games, there's a student section. In other words, they should put up a sign and say if you're not in high school, don't come over here. Now, the parents can sit wherever they want, but they can't even look at the student section, can't even look over there.
And so, there was this boy, and he's a good kid, I mean, he really is a good kid. Anyway, he flipped my daughter off. I lost my mind. I'm in it, and I'm like, this is not gonna happen. And so, I leave my section, I go walking over to the student section, there's hundreds of kids in there, and I'm looking for this kid and I can't find him. So, I go walking down into the student section, slipping through the rows, looking for him. The kids are looking at me, like, what are you doing here?
Now, unbeknownst to me, my daughter and some friends went to go use the restroom, because girls have never used the restroom in their entire life by themselves. So, her and a couple friends went up there, and so I walked up to this kid and I put my arm around him, and I said, "What has my daughter done to you"? And he said, "Nothing". I said, "Well, why did you flip her off"? He goes, "I wasn't flipping her off, I was flipping them off on the other side of the football field". Woot-woot-woot! I said, "Let's not go there. How about we do this? Let's not let that happen again". And so, I walk off, I go back to my seat, like, and that's how dad's roll. I get home, I can't wait for Presley to get home, because she's gonna be like, "Oh, Daddy, you're the best". She was furious. She was so mad, and she said, "Dad, don't you think I could have handled it? Instead you come in and humiliate me"?
I felt like I was two inches high, and why am I telling you this story? So I can relive it? Oh my gosh, I'm just saying I know it's hard. Second thing is forgiving God. The Bible says this, now, this is one of those Scriptures that are so hard. The Lord says this, he goes, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways. As high as the heaven is from the earth, your ways are further than my ways, and my thoughts are further than yours". In other words, the way I think is not the way you think, and your way of doing things is not my way of doing things. Now, I have tremendous indigestion with that, because if you don't mind me saying this about my own life, if you let me call a few shots, I believe I'll be a little bit happier, I believe.
Now, I know, I know, don't tell me, I know, I know, I know that this is a fantasy, and if I get to call all the shots in my life, I'm gonna do a great job on messing up my life. And God has a perfect plan, but it's just so hard. Did you know that the moment you chose to make Jesus your Savior and your Lord, a lot of people are okay with Jesus being their Savior, but not so okay with him being your Lord. Because if he's your Lord, you live to please him, taking your own desires and putting them aside to prioritize what his desires are. But for those of us who have made him not only our Savior but our Lord, we are choosing to live a life of mystery, not understanding why God says yes, why God says no, why he blesses this, and why he withholds his blessings from there.
I talk about this next example often, because it is so high on my heart. It's never drifted down. A 41-year-old single mother in our church, never even looked at a cigarette, gets lung cancer. We pray like we've never prayed before, and she passes away. A single mom with a 12-year-old daughter. She had to go live with her grandmother. I have to tell you that she became my goddaughter, and my wife is her godmother. She's 27 right now, she's doing phenomenal. We're actually flying to California in a few weeks and I get to be the minister over her wedding. She started her own company and it's thriving. I mean, she's crushing it. She loves the Lord, but I'm still not okay. I'm still hurt that the Lord didn't answer my prayer for her mother to stay alive. I'm still hurt over it. I can't get past it, because it makes no sense to me on why the Lord did not heal her.
I checked myself into hotels for the day just to get on the floor and cry. I remember laying halfway under the bed, squeezing the comforter above my head, crying. If you're gonna give me one, this is the one I want. Just weeks prior, I felt someone's bone move underneath my fingers when I prayed for that healing. It's been, wow, 20 years. Almost 20 years. I think it's... no, no, I'm doing the math wrong, 15 years, 15 years. I still can't get over it. Every time that thought comes to my mind, I have to force myself and even say to the Holy Spirit, "You need to help me out right now. God, I'm sorry I'm holding that against you". You're God, your ways are above my ways, I don't think like you, I don't make decisions like you, I'm sorry. Help me to stop judging what you have done.
The Bible says this in Philippians chapter 4 verse 6. It says this, to pray about everything, don't worry about anything, here's the big one, and this is what makes that possible to not worry about anything, thank him for everything that he has done. So, every time that moment comes up where I'm thinking, God, I'm still not over that yet, I'm still not okay with it. When we ask the Holy Spirit in the first point, help me to forgive me, like, I can't keep beating myself up over this, and then to back up and say, Holy Spirit, don't stop there, help me to forgive God because I can't keep this hurt in my life. The best way to do that is what we just talked about in Philippians 4:6, and that is to thank him for everything that he's done in the same moment that we're hurting for what he hasn't done. I thank you, God, I'm not in the hospital right now. I thank you, God, that I'm strong right now.
Let me tell you this. If you're in good health, you have a great life. You have a phenomenal life. Thank you for my health. Thank you that I can walk up to a wall in my house and pinch a little thing and move it because I'm a little bit cold and I wanna be a little bit warmer. I wanna be a little bit cooler. I need to get to work, but I don't feel like walking, so I'm gonna go sit in a chair and have that chair move me down the street. God, you're so good. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, I know you're taking care of me now, and you're gonna take care of me in the future. My thoughts are not your thoughts. The way you're gonna do it is not the way I want you to do it, I'm sure about that, but at the end of the day, just like Halle is happy, and has been taken care of, and is having a thriving business, and she probably would not have had the strength to start her own business, to get through all the quitting points, had she not had that moment of wanting to quit on everything, and busted through the quitting point.
How many people know that every single goal, every single vision we have, we have to break through those quitting points before we can experience the dreams that God has inside of us? Do you believe that? It's hard for me to say this. It's hard for me to say this, but it was right for Lana to pass away at 41. My brain is saying it's right, my heart is catching up. Sometimes you have to say the right thing until you can feel the right thing. Are you with me? The third point, refusing to judge yourself, refusing to judge God, now here's the... I'm talking about some kickers today, because all three are kind of hard. To refuse to judge others.
Now, this verse compels me. It pushes me to forgive others whether I want to or not. This verse that I'm gonna share with you pushes me. Jesus was talking, and it's in Matthew chapter 18. I'm gonna share with you verse 34. He was talking about forgiveness, because the entire chapter of Matthew chapter 18 is about forgiveness. And they were discussing, Jesus was trying to teach them the importance of forgiveness, and so he says this. He gives them this illustration about how this particular guy was greatly forgiven of all the debt that he owed. Think about the debt that most of us have.
Can you imagine someone walking up to you and saying, "Hey, your house? Paid for. Hey, your apartment? Never pay again. Your car, go pick one out, it's paid for". Oh my goodness, no more debt. This guy's entire debt got wiped off. Jesus calls him his lord with a lower-case L. Kind of you're his boss. And so, this guy that was greatly forgiven saw a friend of his, a friend of his that owed him just a little bit of money. It wasn't even that much. He goes over to him and grabs him by the shirt and demands that his money is brought to him within a certain period of time. And so, Jesus says this, Matthew 18:34. He says, and his lord was rough with him, angry, beyond angry. He was rough with him, and so he delivered the tormentors to torment him, to beat him.
Delivered the tormentors to him, and he says this, these tormentors are gonna stay in your life until you pay back to me all the debt that you owe me. You didn't forgive him of his debt, so now I am gonna bring back up your debt, and you're gonna pay for it all. And you're gonna have these tormentors in your life until you pay back the debt. Now, this was a parable, a story. Then Jesus says this, "In the same way my Father in heaven will treat you unless you, from your heart, forgive those who have wronged you".
Let me share with you what the tormentors are, people who hold back on forgiveness. I've heard many of them get physically sick. People who hold back forgiveness, the tormentors are in their car with them, because they're driving down the road all by themselves, there's nobody in the car, and the person that they're angry with, have unforgiveness towards, the tormentor is in the car, because they're arguing with that person in their head, and they can't get them out of their head. They can't stop thinking about 'em. They're arguing with them, they're preparing themselves for their next conversation. The next time I see him, I'm gonna say this. Next time I see him, I'm gonna say that. And they're stuck in this place of just being tormented all the time, brushing their teeth, thinking about that person.
This is a promise out of the Bible, that unless you forgive, the tormentors are coming after you. I know that there are some people in this world who do not deserve forgiveness, and I will give you, as your pastor, permission to not forgive them, just as long as you're okay with not being forgiven. When you reach that point in your life where you say I'm not gonna need God's forgiveness anymore for the rest of my life, and all the sins of my past, thank you, I'm not gonna need your forgiveness. Then and only then can you walk around with your thumbs in your pocket and not forgive anybody you want to. But so long as you need forgiveness, as long as I need forgiveness, we need to forgive people who don't even deserve it, because you and I don't deserve it either. As hard as it is to agree with that, challenging you, agree with it anyway.