TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, April 10, 2018:
To infer, think or hold as an opinion; to make a mental assessment using discernment; to pass sentence or condemn.
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge you will be judged and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
God has created us with the ability to think so that we can make wise choices. This requires the ability to judge. When Jesus said, do not judge in Matthew 7:1, He was not saying we should not be discerning. This is righteous judgement which as believers we must exercise to separate good from evil. What Jesus was saying was that we must not judge in a self-righteous way, which is finding fault in others to make ourselves look good.
Jesus in Matthew 7:1-5 pulls no punches concerning one who judges in this way. In verse one He clearly tells us not to judge. In verse two He tells us that the one who judges (criticizes) will be judged. In verse three He mentions that the one who judges should examine his own heart and deeds first before he says a thing. So often the things we fault someone else with are no worse than the faults in our lives.
In verses four and five Jesus tells us that the one who judges is deceived about himself when he judges others. The one who criticizes magnifies the faults of others while excusing his or her faults. These verses make it very clear how our Lord feels about our hypocritical judgmental attitudes.
We are all very prone to criticize, condemn or censor others when they sin. Our fault-finding is most often picky. What Jesus exemplified and taught is that we as believers should show compassion and not condemnation to others who have fallen away from the Lord. It is a time to reach out with guidance and not the time to hand out criticism. It is a time to speak kindly and encourage, not negatively or harmfully. It is a time to pray for them and ask God’s Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin.
Most people judge others because it boosts one’s self-image. It is part of our sinful nature to want to tear others down to build ourselves up. For some it is a time to justify their wrong decisions at the expense of someone else. It sometimes is an outlet for one to hurt or show revenge to someone who possibly failed them. Jesus would have us judge ourselves first and then show forgiveness to others. If we did this we would be very discerning before judging.
God is our final judge and we as believers will be judged by the quality of fruit we produce. The fruit cannot be judged by earthly values but by heavenly values. Galatians 5:22 lists the fruits of the Spirit which are love, peace, joy, longsuffering, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.
Our memory verse for this week is found in James 1:5.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Help me each day to examine my own heart and actions before I judge the actions of others and criticize them for what I am also guilty of. Forgive me of my sins and enable me to be obedient to the Holy Spirit to produce the fruits of the Spirit that will draw people to You. Help me as well as my family to show others Your love and compassion for them.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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