“Judge not…” These words came straight from the mouth of Jesus and have rolled around in my spirit continuously for a while now. I love how different seasons cater to different areas of growth… all opportunities to grow deeper and higher with Jesus. I’ve intentionally been examining every thought and taking it captive if it doesn’t line up with God’s truth.
Many of us reading this have heard this judge not scripture from Matthew 7 countless times, but let’s really look at it today: do we judge others in our hearts, even without using our words? One of Webster’s definitions of “judge”: to form an estimate or evaluation of, especially to form a negative opinion about. How about subtleties we aren’t aware of? Or have layers of judgment maybe even piled up so high without us realizing it that we don’t recognize they have become a stronghold?
Before you answer, let me share a story that brought this close to home. I’ve just recently started driving in Phnom Penh, where I now live and serve with ELM. Up until this point, I have always been a passenger, not a driver. Driving here is a different experience than riding. Let’s just say that it has challenged my “judge factor” more than once and been a great opportunity to keep my heart in the right place despite my frustrations. A phrase that I learned at MTI (Missions Training International) has come in so handy many times: suspend judgment.
Recently one night, I was growing increasingly aggravated at the drivers zooming through the streets at high speeds without their headlights on. Multiple thoughts and judgments started going through my head. As my emotions raised, the more I thought about and fed those thoughts. By the time I got home, I was glad that at least I am a responsible driver and not putting everyone else at risk. While hopping off my moto to unlock the gate, I glanced at the front of my bike and wouldn’t you know it… I didn’t realize that I had failed to turn on my own headlight.
Humbling, to say the least, but I also laughed at the irony. “Get the log out of your own eye, Cathy, before you judge the speck in your brother’s eye.” I’m glad that God is a patient Father!
Let’s take a hard look at our thoughts as we enter into 2019. Are we thinking the best of others and suspending judgment, or are we taking the place of a judge? Let’s love well… even in our thinking… and “judge not.”
“Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment will not be passed on you. For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you. Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First, acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.” –Matthew 7:1-5 (The Passion Translation)
Written By: Cathy Cupp
Published on: 1/17/19