Saturday, June 7, 2014

Laying Down Your Judgment

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Matthew 7:1-2

Would you consider yourself a judgmental person?  Where has this self-righteousness we harbor come from?  Jesus instructs us to examine our own motives and behavior instead of judging others.  Often we magnify others’ faults while we excuse our own.  Prayerfully ask God to reveal to you if you are a judgmental person, if you harbor self-righteous pride.  God desires to transform us to be women who offer grace and mercy and who lead others to Jesus. 

Someone exhibiting a hypocritical, judgmental attitude tears others down in order to build themselves up.  That is not a very lovely character trait, is it?  We must guard ourselves.  This judgmental attitude will creep into our hearts before we realize what it taking place.  Why do you look at the speck of saw dust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye – Matthew 7:3-5.  Why are we more inclined to judge the sins of others while we overlook our own sin? 

Who desires to do things differently?  Let’s ask God to help us put away our judgmental attitudes and love others the way Jesus loved.  Author Angela Thomas said, “I have never seen one heart mended in judgment.  It encourages no one.  Receiving sustained criticism, condemnation, or painful words doesn’t motivate change.”  God desires for us to lay down our judgment, our critical spirit, our negatively.  These have no purpose in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Nowhere in God’s Word are we given permission to condemn others.  Brothers and sisters do not slander one another.  Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it.  When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.  But you – who are you to judge you neighbor? – James 4:11-12 

Those with a judgmental spirit seem to harbor anger and contempt in their hearts.  A judgmental spirit goes hand-in-hand with anger, contempt, and self-righteousness.  Today can be the day we choose to lay down our judgment of others.  We will not be able to do this on our own but with a repentant heart and a true desire, God will help.  Prayerfully ask God to take away your tendency toward judgment and allow Him to transform your heart. 

Professor and author, Dallas Willard, once stated, “We must beware of believing that it is okay for us to condemn as long as we are condemning the right things.  It is not so simple as all that.  I can trust Jesus to go into the temple and drive out those who were profiting from religion, beating them with a rope.  I cannot trust myself to do so.”

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to lay down our judgmental attitude.  Transform us into women who reflect your mercy, grace, and passion.  Help us to come alongside people and usher them into the presence of God.  Reveal to us what is truly in our hearts.  Transform us LORD.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.

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