Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Your Judgement Day -- Judge Not, and You Will Not Be Judged.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / July 25, 2012

by GodLife on July 22, 2012
From the series Prayer Letter

Scripture: "Stop judging, and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37

Don't Judge Me

Don't you hate being judged? Ugh, I hate it. In fact, I go to great lengths to avoid it, but still I feel like others are always focusing on my flaws. You know, judgment is a soul toxin, maybe one of the worst. I might compare it to drinking lead; it just sits there in your soul like a weight, poisoning everything. But today, Jesus is giving you the remedy to avoid being judged, one you might not have heard. In fact, if you're like me, you might have been doing just the opposite, unknowingly heaping more and more judgment in your life. But today we can start to reverse that. So first, I need you to answer a question for me...

Answer This

If you were facing a trial and had the option of being either in the defendant's shoes (the one being judged) or the prosecutor's shoes (the one doing the judging), which would you choose? If you were me, you would choose the prosecutor's chair, because that is the one safe from judgment, right? WRONG. Jesus said it's actually the opposite. And I want you to read a story with me to prove it.
"The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught committing adultery. They made her stand in front of everyone and asked Jesus, 'Teacher, we caught this woman in the act of adultery. In his teachings, Moses ordered us to stone women like this to death. What do You say?' They asked this to test Him. They wanted to find a reason to bring charges against Him. Jesus bent down and used His finger to write on the ground. When they persisted in asking Him questions, He straightened up and said, "The person who is sinless should be the first to throw a stone at her." Then He bent down again and continued writing on the ground. One by one, beginning with the older men, the scribes and Pharisees left. Jesus was left alone with the woman. Then Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Where did they go? Has anyone condemned you?" The woman answered, "No one, Sir." Jesus said, "I don't condemn you either. Go! From now on don't sin." (John 8:3-11)

Let It Sink In

Imagine that you're her. Think of your worst sin, the thing you most desperately want to keep from other people. I know I have mine. Now imagine that all the authorities in your life have brought you to face your punishment before God and everyone else. How do you feel? Probably like me, terrified! But then instead, Jesus gets down off of the Judge's chair, walks over to your accusers, and says, "Well, which one of you are perfect? You can be the one to cast the judgment." And then one by one, they drop their charges. Then He walks over to you, and He says—and this is actually what He is saying to you now—"I don't condemn you either. Go and be free of your sin."

Judge Not, and You Will Not Be Judged

You see, out of all the people in the story with Jesus, only one received His forgiveness—the one facing judgment, not casting it. As long as you are in the judgment seat, Jesus says you are actually going to receive it the most! "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." Matthew 7:1-2 It's like you are trying to dig your way out of a ditch, but with every pile of dirt you shovel out, one more is piled in. That's what happens when you judge others. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that the bad you see in others are actually your own flaws: "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." Matthew 7:3-5 It's like you were sitting in your house, noticing everyone's flaws out the window, but what you don't realize is that you're not looking at a window, but a mirror. And every judgment you cast on "others" is actually one you're casting on yourself.

The Remedy

So what's the remedy? The antidote to judgment is actually mercy. That's what Jesus showed with the adulterous woman. Actually I shouldn't call her that; I should more rightly call her the forgiven woman. Because when she was at her lowest, Jesus showed her mercy, and it gave her forgiveness. The Bible says, "Mercy triumphs over judgment." James 2:13 In a fighting match, mercy is stronger than judgment. So if you are feeling clogged up with judgment-for yourself and for others-God wants you to take a mercy pill. He wants you to first accept the mercy He is offering you, and then start to give it to others. He wants you to put yourself in the position of the adulterous woman and not in the position of her judges. Because as you give mercy, you will receive it in return.

Take a Mercy Pill

Take God's mercy pill today...and start to take it everyday. Every time you start to judge someone, just pause and take a dose of God's mercy instead. Think of how many of your flaws Jesus has forgiven. Let it flow through your soul and touch others in return. For example, today I was at the grocery store, and started to judge the woman in front of me. But then I started to think instead of all the good things about her, and I started to feel mercy for myself too! It's the same for you: you can start to live a life of mercy for yourself and others. If you want to receive God's mercy and start to give it to others in return, just tell Him in the Comments. He will give you what you ask! Let's start to get rid of the soul toxin of judgment! Help us God!