Tender HeartsHow can we avoid being spiritually stubborn and unresponsive to God?
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Do not judge others, and
you will not be judged
I normally take my kids to school 30 minutes before class begins. One morning we left the house later than
normal. When we picked them up from school, my middle son insisted that they had not made it to class on
time, and he had proof. He proudly presented “exhibit A”: He had seen our daughter with a detention slip in
her hand. The only problem with his evidence was that it was not her detention for being late to school—it was her classmate’s. She was holding it for him until he finished tying his shoe. My son apologized for misjudging his sister. He learned an important lesson about not judging others.
When Jesus began teaching His followers, He made sure they learned the same lesson (Matthew 7:1). When
He gave the “don’t judge” command, however, He wasn’t saying for them to put their minds in neutral and
refuse to examine people’s actions in order to hold them accountable to God’s standards. He simply wanted them to refrain from judging others just to build themselves up. Those who judged others would find themselves being judged in the same manner by God and by others.
There are several reasons why Jesus told His followers not to judge others. First, they may have only known part of the story and didn’t fully understand all the motives
and issues involved (1 Corinthians 4:5). Second, when they judged others, they brought God’s judgment on
themselves (Romans 2:1-3). Third, God is the only One who is qualified to judge anyone (James 4:11-12). Finally, when they judged others, they were not walking in Jesus’ steps (John 8:1-11).
Before we judge others, let’s seek to understand all the issues and motives of the situation, examine our own lives first, leave all judging to God, and humbly love, forgive, accept, and help others in a spirit of grace and understanding.
• Luke 18:9-14
• Romans 14:3,10
When are you most tempted to judge others?
What “planks” do you need to get out of your
own eyes first? Is there someone you need to
humbly love, accept, and forgive today?
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