Back in elementary school, I had a teacher that used to read a riddles book called, “What Am I?” Some were great, others gritty. I’ve got a gritty one, and I think you’ll know what I mean. Here goes:
I’m opinionated, negative, and condemning. I’m on the lips of few, but I’m often felt by many. Sometimes, I’m all about justice and other times I’m unfair. Sometimes, I’m about you; other times, I’m all about others. I might seem tame when caged, but I’m destructive when unleashed. I’m can be found in a court room, minds, mouths, and hearts. I’m brought down with the gavel. I’m passed from one person to another, and I’m…
We all know what it’s like when another person’s opinions exceed the limit of constructive criticism and throw a tornado through our hearts and minds. I hate saying, “It’s not fair.” But, no one has the right to deconstruct another person, size them up, and put them together the way they think is best. God’s the only one who knows how to take us apart and put us back together again. So, on that judgmental attitude…It’s not fair. It’s hurtful to the body of Christ. It’s WAY beyond your abilities. It’s a sin.
God, being perfect, is the perfect judge. I’m sure you know as well as I do, we are mega, super, fantastically imperfect. Throwback to four years old, and that’s the whole reason I turned my life over to Christ. However, we can’t use our state of imperfection as an excuse to sit in our sin and judge others. Get real about your grit. If we’re transformed by the grace that makes us into new creations, we should no longer live in the old and messed up ways we used to follow. In fact, God gave you the freedom to choose his ways over your sinful ways, so chose today which master you will serve. Are you a slave to your sin, or are you a servant of your Savior? I’ll give you some time to think about this as we dive into scripture.
Romans 2v1-3 says, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?”
Hey buddy, did you know you’re guilty of the same sins you’ve cast stones about? Don’t fret, we’re all guilty of it. Let your toes be stepped on, and let it be freeing. God convicts us when we’re in need of some refreshing. So I encourage you, press on. Maybe you’ve looked at someone today and sized them up, dressed them down, or gave them a label before you knew the person behind your words. It’s a sin, but isn’t it great to know that God knows that we’ve done everything wrong and he loves us anyways? Look away from others and start looking at yourself — where God’s working on you. You’ll be finding the cobwebs in your closets, and I promise, God’s willing to change your heart if you want him to…
Just a few days ago, I went to a greenhouse for some herb garden shopping. There was a young woman, about my age, who looked like she was trying to go against the grain of people’s expectations. She seemed peculiar, but God pricked my cold heart and let me peek into a heart of gold. I began talking with this young woman, and I got to know her a bit better…. She just lost her mom, and she’s heart broken. She’s 26 or 27, and she just lost her mom. I thought, looks and behaviors are deceiving. God, before the twinkle of her life, saw into this moment and cared for her in her loss. It took me hearing her thoughts and getting past my eyes to truly comprehend from my heart how much love she needed. If I had looked at her with the eyes of Christ, I would have had compassion before her sadness and sorrow was apparent. I’m glad I didn’t miss my opportunity to care for her in Christ, because God got ahold of me right there.
However, I wonder, how many times have I missed an opportunity to show Christ’s love because my judgments got in the way? BEWARE: Missed opportunities due to personal judgment are innumerable. Know it now. As a Christian, you’ll be judged according to your actions, so live as Christ did. Pray for him to give you his eyes to see his people the way that he does.
Luke 6v37-38 also says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Live with a heart full of Christ’s love for others. Forgive others when they have wronged you, and don’t just do it because you have to. Know that Christ forgave you, and with a heaping cup of love, gratitude, and kindness — show that same forgiveness to them. Realize that they will be judged, as you will, for your actions; God’s working on their heart, too. I’d rather have that cup of good measure, pressed down and running over, full of love and life, than I would an empty, hollow cup.
Matthew 5v44-45 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” God sees all that we do. If we put down our thoughts and let Christ’s words come in, it will transform us. It’s twofold. You have to love the people who judge you and do you wrong, and you also have to pray for them. By doing that, you will begin to have new eyes – Christ’s perspective of the ones you’re tempted to judge. And for those at the tail-end of judgment right now, God knows what you’re going through, and he’s letting the sun shine on the deeds of others, too.
So, is Jesus your Savior, or is your sin your master? Choose which one you will serve. Both transform, but one is perfect and the other destroys. Judgment from the Lord is perfect, but our sinful hearts take it upon themselves to participate in work beyond their abilities. Ask for Christ’s eyes, let him convict where needed, pray for those who persecute you, and love others in Christ. You’ll be filled with a good measure.