19. Don’t be judgmental - Mt 7:3
Matthew 7:1-5 - “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.
Sometimes it is hard to accept others who aren't on the same "spiritual level" that we are. I remember when a man and his wife came to our church for the first time. I will call this couple Martin and Alice for the sake of this story. Both Martin and Alice had mental problems and issues due to the way they were raised and because of drug abuse and alcohol. After a while they accepted the Lord and where baptized. They were welcomed into the church but not very warmly.
I often heard people complain because Martin didn't have very good hygiene habits. They also complained because Alice often stared at people without saying a word. I took them both under my wing and tried to help them out but it was very time consuming and exhausting. It turns out that Alice was quite the artist. Martin couldn't do much but he always had a question or comment in Bible Study.
On one particular evening we were having supper before Wednesday Night Bible study. The meal was supposed to be pancakes but one of our women also fixed some eggs. After prayer, Martin went through the line first and scooped on his plate almost all the eggs. One of our leaders pulled me aside and asked me what I was going to do about it. "Nothing," I said, "If Martin is hungry then we need to feed him a physical meal before we try to feed him a spiritual meal." I went next door to my house and brought over 3 dozen fresh eggs that a friend of mine had given to me that day so that everyone could have eggs.
Another time, Martin's car broke down on the side of the road. Guess who he called to help him out? He called that same leader. The fellow wasn't too happy to go and help in the first place but Martin just stood there as the leader changed the tire he became infuriated.. He very sternly told Martin that he came to help not to do everything. Martin had never changed a tire before. In fact, Martin only knew how to put gas in a car and drive.
Now you may think that I am being hard on this leader but the truth is that I can't count how many times I have treated others indifferently because they grew up differently, or were of shady background, or were just too different from me. God has had to work hard to break down my walls of prejudice, judgement, and fear. And I am a work in progress.
We are all sinners. Those who profess Christ are sinners saved by grace. We need to offer the same love, grace, forgiveness, and acceptance that Christ offered to us. If you want to shine like a star against the backdrop of a dark and corrupt generation than you need to learn to be compassionate and not judgmental and that is going to take willingness, time, and help form God.
May God bless you today as you shine the unconditional light of love into a world that needs to an out-stretched hand.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God; How is it that you can love so unconditionally? I love you for that. You have shown your love to me so often when I didn't deserve it. Help me not to judge people but to be a fruit inspector. Help me not to establish a lofty pedestal for myself and look down on those who don't measure up to my standards. Thank you again for Jesus. I pray in his name and authority, AMEN!