“Judge not, that you be not judged. For what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
“Judge not, and you shall be not judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
I have to admit this was a very difficult blog to write! I felt led to use the above verses, but struggled with how to approach the topic. We all understand the message in these two verses. It is a caution to us all. We are not to judge others unless we want to be judged. It’s kin to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. However, we all are constantly “judging”, forming opinions, about others. It is our human nature, we observe, assess and draw conclusions or judgments.
Judging others is something we all need to work on. However, today I think my focus is on the judgement we reserve for ourselves… Let’s face it, we judge ourselves much more harshly than literally anyone else would! Because we know our past, our thoughts, our secrets, our motives, and our lives. We tend to measure ourselves against others; we compare ourselves to seemingly “perfect” people and we fall short. The mom who’s always at school volunteering, the guy at church who’s always there when the doors are open, the employee at work who’s always on time and smiling while he works, the dad who’s coaching every sport. We compare and conclude that we are lousy parents, sorry church members, and terrible employees, and…you get the gist.
But what we have to realize is that God’s grace is “sufficient” for us. Period. We don’t need to compare ourselves to others or judge ourselves. We aren’t perfect people and God is our only judge. We can only do our best with God as our companion. And that should be sufficient for us! We have to see ourselves as God and Jesus see us; “fearfully and wonderfully made”, “do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows”, “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”, “for the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost”. Jesus loves us and gave His life so that we might “have life and have it more abundantly”.
Let’s release ourselves from judgement, especially self-judgement! Let’s look to the Father and His Son, Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith”. Let’s accept the forgiveness and love and grace offered and also forgive and love ourselves. Let’s reject our judgement and cling to the Father and Son and bask in their love and light.
And with this acceptance, let’s offer that same love and light to others. Let’s reject judgement and offer love and grace to others as Jesus would. Judgement is harsh and stark, but “judgement” offered with love and grace is forgiving and strengthening and building.
This week let’s go to God and Jesus and accept the forgiveness and love and light to banish our self-judgement. What is your judgement of yourself? What do you struggle with? Change it now into love and forgiveness and peace.
I thank God for each of you! And thank you for joining me this week to release judgement and accept love, forgiveness, and peace in Jesus name.