GUILTY as charged! As I sit here and write about Jesus’ words on judging, I’m so frustrated I want to scream! Not at a person but at my cats. They are just being their natural self but that “self” is driving me NUTS! I know it sounds strange to be talking about my cats when it comes to the topic of judging, but they do go together; at least I think they do.
They are happily playing with everything they come across. All I see is destruction. Torn wrapping paper, boxes with little claw and teeth holes, ornaments knocked on the floor, nick nacks broken, walking across my computer keyboard, and any small item forever lost through the process of playing kittens. This is their nature but today it is my torture. I’m angry with them for being kittens.
I’m also judging myself for not writing each day. I felt really guilty for not having something posted for Christmas day. After all it is Jesus’ birthday and I should be focusing on Him. So why didn’t I write last night after everyone went home? I had more than my share of excuses, and many of them were valid. But I could have let the cleaning wait a little longer. And why couldn’t I put my thoughts together into a coherent message this morning? I could have tried a little harder. Instead I cleaned and organized last night and hauled wood and swept the yard today. Not to mention got caught up in reading a good book. Maybe who I’m judging most today is me.
In Jesus’ message today He starts with telling us not to judge, but he gives us a real reason for it. “Judge not, and you will not be judged” (verse 37). God sent Jesus to offer us grace and mercy in place of judgment and condemnation. When we judge we are placing those we judge under standards that we couldn’t even live up to. We asked Jesus to forgive us and free us, yet we hold others in bondage. So if we place others in bondage, God has every right to place us under that same standard. Judging us because we are judging others.
Verses 41 and 42 share that when we are judging, we are usually guilty of the same thing and more. I find this to be VERY true in my own life. The things that I look the harshest at are the very things I am struggling with. Maybe my struggle is what makes me acutely aware of the issue in the first place. Jesus says to deal with it in your own life before trying to tell your brother or sister how to deal with it in theirs.
I found myself judging again as I read the passage. I remember from my youth, and from some television preachers, how verse 38 was used. This was the “health, wealth, and prosperity” preaching of my youth. I believe every promise in God’s word, but I’m not going to tell Him how He has to meet out those promises. The prosperity preaching said that in order to get God to make you prosperous you had to give generously and even beyond your own ability. “Give in faith, believing that God will provide the means for you to fulfill your giving vow.” To me that is trying to make God into your servant. He HAS to because I SAID so!
As you can probably tell, this is a sore point for me. Just reading it got me looking back and judging. Sorry for that again Lord. I believe what Jesus is saying here is that God does give to us in more ways than we can ever imagine. The simplest and first way is simply filling our lungs with breath every moment of our lives. The most extravagant way is His sending His Son for our sins and preparing a home for us in Heaven, after our lungs have stopped. Those gifts alone eclipse any monetary gift I could ever receive. As a result of my gratitude for those gifts, I give back. Sometimes it comes in the form of money. Other times the gift if my time and attention. He blesses my gifts of love and uses them to spread His love even further. THAT in itself is another gift to me.
Father God, forgive me for my judgmental attitudes today. I NEED Your grace in my life every day. Please don’t let my attitudes plug that flow. Help me with discernment v judgement issues. I don’t want to feel afraid to make decisions on trusting one avenue or person over another because I am “judging.” Help me learn the boundaries. You know my heart. Please clean it FULLY. My attitudes sicken me! Show me again how to love the way You do and help me learn it this time. Please forgive me.