RSS

Tag Archives: Judgment

Romans 14:10-14

Romans 14:10-14 [NLT]
10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”

12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

 

Dear God, to answer Paul’s questions in verse 10, it’s so that we can feel better about ourselves. I love to judge others because it make me feel smarter than I am, holier than I am–just better than I am. But Paul reminds us in verse 12 that one day I will be standing before you and you won’t be grading on a curve. You won’t put us on a scale of how I compared with this person or that person. No, it will be you and me and I will have to give you an account of my life and my actions.

If all of that is true, then why do so many of us live our lives comparing ourselves to others? I still remember being at a retreat in the late 90’s and hearing a man give his life story. My dad did his introduction, and I was fooled a little. My dad talked about everything this guy had accomplished by the time he was the age I happened to be at that moment. Before the man even talked, I felt like a loser. Then within five minutes the man explained how he had been in federal prison for embezzlement, had lost his wife and his kids, and now he was trying to rebuild his life. I immediately repented to you for looking at the outside of a man instead of looking deeper and considering what else might be a reality in his life.

Of course, now we all get to see each other’s best parts on social media. And we get to judge each other as well. We judge people if we see them posting pictures of partying too much. We judge them if we see them with the new family for which they left their first family. We allow ourselves to feel inferior to the person who seems to have it all.

Father, help me to take my eyes off of the world and to turn them to you. Help me to stop trying to make my own case through comparison to others, and to simply live faithfully. Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. And please forgive me for failing you so often. I am sorry.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 23, 2019 in Romans

 

Tags: , , , ,

Peter & John — 1 John 3:11-18

1 John 3:11-18 NIV
[11] For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. [12] Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. [13] Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. [14] We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. [15] Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. [16] This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. [17] If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? [18] Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Dear God, I am glad that I went through the Gospel passages that referred to John so that I could learn a little more about him before getting to this letter. It’s important to remember what kind of person he was when he first met Jesus. Basically, he was self-righteous and vindictive. He was the one wanting to call down fire on the Samaritans for not wanting Jesus to pass through their territory. I can’t remember them off of the top of my head, but I know there were other examples too. Jesus had to directly teach him grace, mercy, and empathy and help him purge the self-righteous anger he felt for others.

So that’s the guy now who is trying to teach the lesson he learned. I suppose when I’m all done with this series on Peter and John, one of the things I should do is take what Jesus had to teach them individually as disciples and examine how those lessons informed the message(s) that each of them felt they needed to communicate to others. It goes back to the saying, “Our suspicions of others are aroused by the knowledge of ourselves.” What you have taught us is what we have to teach.

So what have you taught me over the last 30+ years of being a discipling Christian? I’ll tell you, I’m a humbler parent than I used to be and I’m much less judgmental towards other parents. You’ve taught me the importance of faithful time in scripture. You’ve taught me that the people I’m most tempted to judge are probably the ones who are most in need of my love and forgiveness (and your love and forgiveness). You’ve taught me that life is about one moment at a time spent in pursuit of you, and to not look to the future with any sense that I know what I’m talking about.

Father, those are just a few of the things you’ve taught me for which I’m grateful. And not that I’ve completely learned these lessons. I don’t mean to say that. Certainly I still judge others, fail to pursue you moment to moment, and I don’t always spend faithful time in scripture. But you have given me that message, and my prayer now is that you will help me to know how to live that message today.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 11, 2019 in 1 John, Peter and John

 

Tags: , , , ,