“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Luke 6:37 (NIV)
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Who loves Mondays???!!!
Do you love Mondays? Well most of us don’t! Everyone knows the majority of people working 9 – 5 all live for the weekend. That’s when we look forward to spending quality time with family and friends after a hard week at work. Yet a blur of errands, catching up on household stuff and playing chauffeur for our kids can lead us right back to Monday – just like that. Fast forward a month of Mondays to a year of Mondays; certainly our spouses, children, pastors, friends and family can do so much better! Life has continued to happen around us even as we wonder why our friends are getting divorced or remaining in abusive relationships, why their children are doing drugs, and why the pastor may be taking funds from the church for his personal use. Things like that can never happen to us (we wouldn’t sit back and allow it!) … or can they?
Why is it so easy to judge?
It is sometimes very easy to judge. I would know, but it’s not only me. Many conversations with friends, pastors, co-workers and relatives have proven that (as imperfect human beings) it appears to be natural to cast judgment on those who don’t have it all together. Maybe it’s because at that point in our lives we feel we are untouchable or above it all; you know, when we tell ourselves: “That can never happen to me!” and as a result cannot foresee us being a victim of abuse, a divorce statistic or the parent of a child who has committed a serious crime. We especially pride ourselves on our great ability to never be a victim and/or to resist temptation while covertly judging thieves, adulterers, child molesters, battered women, rapists and homosexuals (to name a few examples). Ever so often as well, it seems as though the closer we try to walk with God the further away we can find ourselves from acknowledging the humanity not only in those around us but also within ourselves. This leads us to unfortunately adopt a ‘holier than thou’ behavior which in turn makes it hard for others to share their transgressions with us, and creates a tough climb out of our own pits when we fall deep into them.
Life happens, people!
My granny had a saying: “There but for the grace of God go I.” Simply put, life happens to everyone and another person’s situation could just as easily be your own were it not for God’s grace. So what do you do? Granny suggests you get rid of your pride and remain humble, offer support and patience without condoning or condemning, and try hard to resist your own temptations. Judge not she adds, because just as we judge others so will God judge us and one day it might be you reeling from the effects of ‘life’ aka an affair, divorce, drug abuse, etc. so be careful and let your life’s mantra be: “Thou shalt not judge!”
I thought of my granny recently when I saw this Facebook post: “Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently from you.” How very true because none of us are perfect; we all sin and this includes our friends, our pastors, our parents, our spouses, our children and ourselves. As Paul admits in Romans 7:15 (NIV): “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Oh how I can relate! Furthermore (and so we are clear) my sins are not your sins, and because I write a blog or post or two from time to time certainly does not mean that I do not sin! My writing is simply to share my sins and my temptations as well as my joys in this short human life, in the hope that together we can be the better for it. So join me as we offer a little encouragement especially on Mondays. Like and share this with others and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve been judged.
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“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. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust 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 7:1-5 (NIV)
“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”
Romans 14:12-13 (NIV)