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Who made you the judge and jury anyway?

04/14/2015

In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1-7:29, Jesus offers us proof of this divinity as he lifted up the teachings of the Old Testament and explained their use in everyday life. We would be wise to pay attention to them today.

For example, in Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus teaches, “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.”

Do you ever judge others? Stop and think for a moment. We can judge in small ways or big ways. Take some of these for example.

“Oh my, that dress is way too tight for that body.”

“Would you look at that hair cut? What was he thinking?”

“Look at that jerk driving past all the traffic on the shoulder. What an idiot.”

“There she goes again, answering her cell phone. She just doesn’t care that I have to do all the work.”

“He only got that job because he was…..”

“If she wasn’t so…… she’d have more of a chance.”

I think all of us have had a thought or two or three like these over the course of each week. I know, I have discovered how quick I am to judge other drivers on the road during rush hour traffic. You know that guy driving on the shoulder? Rather than a jerk, he could have a wife in labor in his car, or some other emergency. How am I to know? It would be best it I left the judgment up to the One who does know.

God knows. He knows you. He knows me. He knows the person who is answering her cell phone so often. He knows if it is because her mom is very ill, and may need something. So, she takes each call. God knows if the co-worker is just a cell phone addict as well. The most important thing for us to realize is we really don’t know.

I remember the lesson God taught me when I worked for a very difficult boss. She treated everyone in our department like we were pawns on a chess board and she was the one to move us around. I got to the point that I disliked her immensely and it was affecting my ability to treat her with respect. When I took my anger about the work situation to God in prayer, he told me to pray for her.

“Pray for her” I asked? “Seriously? No way!” God never let up. Every time I came to him in prayer, I heard the same words from God. Finally, I begrudgingly gave in. “OK God, you win. Here goes. “Barb.”

That is all I could spit out, just her name. Each day, I tried again and again. Before too long, I was getting a sentence in, “God, please be with Barb.”

What happened was amazing. Barb did not change, but I did. God opened my eyes to see the pain in Barb’s life that I had never understood before. She wished she could have had children, and wrestled with envy over those of us who did. Her sister, who she loved dearly, had a life long illness that was endlessly painful. As I learned these things, my heart softened towards her. I saw her as a human being with hurts and heartaches just like me.

Did she treat us any better? No, but I could see the root from which the poor treatment stemmed, and I could pray for her about that. I changed. I stopped judging her actions and words. I started forgiving, and I was forever changed for the better. It is a lesson I will never forget.

The person you consider fat, may have emotional burdens that are great and she/he eats to find comfort. Don’t judge, pray.

The person you think got the job because of whatever reason, just maybe got the job because he/she had experience you know nothing about, but the HR department does.  Don’t judge, pray.

Don’t be so quick to judge. Let God be the judge.

Catch yourself in judgmental thoughts and give them up to him. This gets easier and easier once you start, and you will become more loving as you see people through God’s eyes.

God bless you, my friend.

M.

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