Don’t Judge!

Judge

“Refuse to be a critic full of bias towards others, and judgment will not be passed on you. For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you” (Matt. 7:1-2, tPt).

Confession time. I’m going to be honest with you. My heart has been known, on occasion, to come up with some pretty unkind sentiments towards certain individuals. You know those moments when something about a person’s general behavior or attributes triggers a negative response in your emotions? Can you relate? I imagine that you can. We came up with a name for this to package it as something acceptable. We call these our “pet peeves.”

In my case, maybe it’s a person whom I perceive to be acting pretentiously. Or it could be a Facebook photo where someone who should know better is showing too much skin (in my not-so-humble opinion). Or it’s an insecure soul who is clearly throwing his or herself out there in unhealthy ways, clamoring for attention. When I see these things, instead of compassion, I sometimes feel pricked at, bothered.

Thankfully, this is not the overriding modus operandi of my inner life. Holy Spirit has been diligently at work inside of me for a long time now. I am profoundly grateful to Him for all the tremendous change He has effected within my core over the years. He has made me immeasurably more gracious in my deep heart attitudes, both towards myself and towards others, than I used to be.

And yet, once in a while, those moments still pop up. I don’t like the ugly feeling that invades my emotions when they do. Since I don’t want it hanging around in my inner space, I quickly ask for Holy Spirit’s help.

That’s when His gentle voice simply says to my spirit, “Receive My compassion.” As He imparts His dunamis* to me, I am empowered to perceive the person through new lenses. My heart is softened. Suddenly, I see them as a struggling individual who needs grace. Holy Spirit replaces my annoyance with genuine love and patience.

Our verse for today says “Refuse to be a critic.” Or, in the NIV, “Do not judge.” Notice that it doesn’t say, “Do not judge your fellow Christians, but go ahead and judge those offensive revilers who haven’t yet had the sense to become believers.” Nope. Just flat out, plain and simple, “Do not judge.” Anyone. At any time. Period.

What comes into our hearts when we start to think about someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum? Someone living in blatant sin? Or even someone committing as trivial a crime as wearing a really tasteless outfit that day (in our lofty estimation)? Or perhaps a getup tight enough to unbecomingly reveal a “less than perfect” figure?

Jesus doesn’t want any lingering negative sentiment about anyone to remain in the secret places of our soul. Here is His heart on the matter: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it” (John 3:17, TLB). He didn’t put us here to condemn it either, but to be, in the midst of it, His compassionate ambassadors, His agents of redemption.

If you are like me and need divine intervention in order to step up into such an extraordinary mandate, Holy Spirit is eager to provide it. If we ask Him to gently nudge us on the occasions that judgement towards our fellow humans creeps into our hearts, He will. And once He nudges, here is a life-changing prayer to pray in response:

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Ps. 51:7, NKJV).

Truth be told, we need Holy Spirit to cleanse us like this continually. Just as our kidneys unceasingly filter toxins out of our blood stream, we need Him to continuously purify the flow of our thoughts and emotions with His precious blood. He will do this for us. As soon as we pray, He will answer. He will begin washing the unkindness out of our soul and replacing it with His beautiful love.

He’s ready right now to start. Why wait another minute? Let’s ask Him!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (v. 10a).

********************************************

In this world full of quick judgmentalism towards others, how do we set the example? Will keeping our own hearts clean make a significant difference?

*Greek for “power,” in verses like Eph. 3:20

 

17 thoughts on “Don’t Judge!

  1. The judgmental nature of some “Christians” has contributed, I believe, to the increase in number of those who have walked away from organized religion. Very frustrating. There is only one judge, and no one on earth can claim that title.

    We will be less likely to fall into that habit if our hearts and souls are at peace and directed toward our Lord. We cannot avoid dealing with society, but I have been taught through spiritual counsel that if a person or situation consistently introduces that sort of negativity in our lives and won’t accept correction, it is okay to limit my exposure to those circumstances as much as possible. That helps keep my blood pressure down 🙂 and I have found more peace since taking my director’s advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, yes, that advice is wonderfully wise. Made me smile, about keeping your blood pressure down. But it’s so true! Positive thoughts, attitudes, speech, and behavior really does contribute to our own health and others’. 🙂

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  2. We have to bear in mind that only God has the right to judge each one of us. Hate the sin but always love the sinner. We cannot win them by judging them. Love our enemies because they are also one of the reason why God sent His Son.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jennifer. They are always meaningful and appreciated.

    As Christians, we need to practice humility as well as remember the words of Jesus: love God and love others. Judgement is left to our God as our own imperfections render us poorly suited for such a task. When we fall short, and we will, we must go to the Father and ask for forgiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OH yes I relate and understand Jennifer. In this life it is a part of being human but thankfully God the Holy Spirit will jar us into KNOWING the sin of our attitude. Thank God we can be forgiven. My biggest struggle I must confess is when I encounter lifestyles and attitude contrary to the Bible . There is a constant need for LOVE to be pure. Hate the sin but LOVE with His Love the person. May God grant that we may all learn and grow to be examples of Christ to Love unconditionally. Humility always and purity of Love and Kindness……Thank God for His Mercy and Grace for us all as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have the hardest time judging the judgmental. (I know..right?) Especially on social media where people feel secure enough in their anonymity to be insensitive or rude to others. Recently, I was infuriate by someone’s request to not post religious things like prayers on a closed-group Facebook page. And that’s when the fight started. I try so hard to say what I think without being inflammatory. But a couple of nights later, some of the embers were still glowing and I looked at a new comment. I looked at the first post in which a woman offered her gratitude to God for saving her husband’s life. After that came complete wreckage of her intentions be both ill-meaning and well-meaning members of the group, and it saddened me to have been a part of it – like being one of the kids who contributes to the noise be telling someone to be quiet. But it surprised me to see – for the first time – how sad it was that someone who had joined this group for support and a sense of belonging had just alienated himself by taking offense. I couldn’t believe how much my heart ached when Holy Spirit showed how he sees things – even a little bit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that sounds like quite a profound experience, LaRonda! How beautiful that He was sharing His heart with you like that <3. Thank you so much for sharing it here too. May He continue to empower us all to grow each day a little more in His grace for everyone! Oh how I need His help!

      Liked by 1 person

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