“Bless her heart! She clearly doesn’t have a friend in the world. If she did, they would have told her never to wear that outfit again!”
Meet my “inner judge”. She has escaped and is on the loose again. And even when she’s captured, it’s like trying to stuff a jack in the box back down inside and out of sight.
“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.” Matt 7:1-2
“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b NLT
Even though we know that a way to escape being judged is to withhold judging others, we can’t quite get there. After all, I’m not really judging, I tell myself. I’m simply expressing my opinion. The problem is that once we start down a critical path, it’s a slippery slope. And we’ve opened ourselves up to the work of the enemy. God’s desire is always to see us built up. The enemy’s goal is to tear down.
Jesus was clear – don’t go there. In John chapter 8, He himself is cautioning others not to judge Him. As my pastor recently said, “Jesus couldn’t get a job today in His own church. He didn’t have a Divinity degree, didn’t even attend Bible school, never owned anything of real value, traveled around with a bunch of misfits, hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes. He needed a haircut and He never married.” That resume would have been quickly tossed into the “no thanks” pile.
All we have is our paltry human standards as criterion. And that’s a pretty pitiful set of guidelines. And we forget that we are subject to those same standards from those around us. Everyone but Him.
So how do we avoid becoming the judge once we’ve shoved her back in the box? Don’t carry the box around! Burn it on the altar of your heart! It’s not my job to assess and pronounce sentence on those around me on every issue from fashion to lifestyle. It IS my job to love them, pray for them, and share the Word and the joyful acceptance by God of who we are with them. It’s up to Him to address those things that are not pleasing to Him. And my guess is that the fact that those shoes do not go with that dress is really of very little interest to Him.
As a parent, the Father is none too pleased to see one of His children judged critically. He is pretty protective. And He has chosen to use some pretty odd folks along the way. I’m pretty sure John, hanging out in the wilderness, clothed in animal skins, got a lot of folks talking.
I will choose, Lord, to see those around me with new eyes. Eyes that watched the crowd mock you while He chose to see me as beautiful, worthy of your death on the cross. “
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Remind me today Lord, that you alone are appointed and qualified to judge. Help me “burn the box!”
By Deb DeArmond, MyPurposeNow