[PC-USA] 2000-07-07 - Being Judgmental

Originally Published 1997-11-14

Today I would like to discuss something that most if not all of us have been guilty of at one time or another - including myself! -- being judgmental. Jesus didn't mince words when it came to being judgmental.
(Mat 7:1-5 NKJV) ""Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Most of the time, when we judge people, we probably don't truly know what is going on in their lives. The elderly man at church, who seems so sour, might be hurting over a long-ago rejection. The woman who never has a good word to say about anyone, might be living in an environment of verbal abuse. The teenager who dresses "indecently" may have a mother who is too preoccupied to guide her. I am not condoning these behaviors, but we need to realize that people are the way they are, for reasons - they were not born bitter, etc. -- and that we ourselves might act the same way, given similar circumstances.

One way to counter this tendency to be judgmental, is to do something that God brought to my mind a little while back. For those of you who have heard this before, please excuse the repetition. ;) I have found that asking God to let me see people through Jesus' eyes can dramatically alter how I see them. I see them as people Jesus loved enough to die for. People whom He values deeply. People who are made in His image. People who may need my care, my listening ear, certainly my prayer! So next time we start to pronounce critical judgment about someone, let's stop and try to understand him or her, and pray for the person ,and asking God to use us. If there is a need for confrontation over wrongdoing, that needs to be done gently.

(Gal 6:1 NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Dear Lord, please do help us to see people through Jesus' eyes, and to treat them as He would. In Jesus' name, amen.