Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7:1,2
As our patience and love get stretched by difficult times or people, our human nature tends to judge those people or events that are causing us pain or inconvenience. We may not consciously do that, but, with a little push from our enemy the devil, we label, putting them in a safe box that tends to make us feel less out of control, depersonalizing those people or groups, and placing a nice safe wall between us.
Most of us would not intentionally do this, so we need to stop and allow the Holy Spirit to show us. Where have we done this? How would he have me respond?
Where are you in a difficult relationship, maybe with a family member or group with different and conflicting beliefs or expectations? What issue tends to stir up your negative emotions, like anger, resentment or feelings of rejection or pain? How have you reacted?
We are alerted to a powerful biblical principle in Galatians 6:7 that we always harvest what we plant. As you read Matthew 7:1,2 above, notice that Jesus applies this to judging others. If we judge, we will be judged in the same way. Do you feel you have been judged unfairly? Be careful. Often, rather than that causing us to react to others with more compassion and empathy, it may cause us to respond by judging those who have hurt or rejected us.
Rather than respond in that way, let’s choose to rely on the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with God’s love for those people. Let’s forgive them and repent of any way we may have judged them. Then, let’s forgive ourselves for labeling, judging and building walls, when Jesus tells us to love and forgive. Remember he does this because he loves us and knows that it is best for us.
Only Jesus has been given the authority to judge. He is the only one who is the just Judge, not us. When we trust him to do that, we can rest and be filled with his peace that will protect our hearts and strengthen our relationships. We need more of that! Not judgment.
Dear friend, may you be filled with deep and lasting peace as you forgive and release those people or groups who have hurt, blocked or cause you to feel shamed and rejected. In your spirit decide never to judge others, but to see them as Jesus does, as wounded and broken people like us, deserving of our compassion. Amen.
Mary Sumner, June 24, 2020