Daily Devotion - November 3, 2020 - Principle 2: Don't Judge Others

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion: November 3, 2020
Reading: Matthew 7:1-6
Weekly Theme: Principles that Give Life
Today: Principle 2: Don’t Judge Others

It seems as if a few short months ago, I wrote a devotion on this very same topic of “don’t judge”... a clear indication God has laid it on my heart (perhaps yours, too) for a reason. I catch myself several times “playing judge” in the lives of others... and that is clearly something I have no business doing...at least not according to today’s passage in Matthew 7:1-6.

In this principle that gives life, Jesus clearly is concerned about hypocrisy. To put this in more modern day language, Jesus is concerned about Christians nitpick-judging other people about the tiny little bits of perceived sin they see in others’ lives without first taking a look at the big ole plank in their own eye. Jesus, to paraphrase, is asking, “how can you possibly start judging someone else until you have done some self-examination in your own life?” Jesus calls it as he sees it... he calls the person who judges a hypocrite, one who is extremely critical of someone else for doing something wrong, when he or she is doing the same thing, or something ten times worse. Jesus tells his disciples to first remove the speck in his own eye first before trying to remove the beam that is in their own eyes. In the last verse of this passage, Jesus tells his disciples to not give what is holy to the dogs and toss pearls before the pigs. Jesus is trying to teach his disciples that judgementalism is counterproductive when we sinfully judge using our own standard to condemn others. When and only when we are completely obedient to Jesus’s words and use his wisdom, are we capable of judging other people. In fact, when we pass judgement on a person who is not a Christian, we are probably doing more harm than good.

It is one thing if I take an individual, personal stand and am convicted that I, should not engage in certain behaviors. But it is quite another thing, if I judge someone who continues to sin in a way in which I continue to sin myself. Today’s principle of not judging is more about engaging in self-examination first and then using great wisdom when we began to counsel others. We counsel others through relationship building...by engaging in small groups in which each person engages in self-examination in the presence of others who love them and care enough about them to encourage them as they try to live a more holy and righteous life. Using this approach everyone grows together in a positive and encouraging way through which the power of the Holy Spirit inspires, convicts, and motivates, rather than our feeble attempts to judge and guilt others into giving up sinful behaviors. The best way to move forward together in our Christian journey is to not judge but rather to engage in behaviors in which we spur or encourage one another to value spiritual things that are precious in God’s sight.

Dear God, thank you for the Holy Spirit you have given to us, to spur us on in our spiritual journey. Help us to not judge others but to self-examine first as we grow together. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 
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