So, it is true confessions time: I have a problem with being judgmental.
I have tried to cloak it in the more palatable term of comparing; but God has called me out on it. I have been judging others.
Now, the Bible is clear about judging. We are to judge each other by our fruit, if we claim to follow Christ as our Savior and Lord. God doesn't tolerate sin, and He doesn't want us to tolerate sin in our own lives, either. If we do, He wants fellow Christians to call us out and rebuke us, lovingly (the key), so we can be restored (see Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, Galatians 6).
As you read from the Bible, you see that we are to judge others for the purpose of knowing their heart toward God, so we don't become involved in sin that may have them trapped. Still, it is easy to cross the line and start comparing yourself to others and asserting your good (read: "better") behavior over theirs.
The biggest problem I have is in judging my husband. I love him, but I want to see him act and live in a certain way. The way I think he should act and live. And when he doesn't, I have treated him with contempt, at times.
Today, being the 14th, I read chapter 14 in Proverbs. Verse one reached up and smacked me in the face:
"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."I could replace "hands" with mouth, or unrestrained thought life, both of which are equally destructive.
Just last night, I was upset because I didn't get the response from my husband that I wanted. I went to bed feeling weepy and rejected, totally blowing the situation out of proportion (such as thinking that he isn't being a good husband because he isn't loving me like Christ loved the church, etc...maybe you can relate?).
Then I got another slap, this time from Psalm 14:2-3:
"The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one."
Yep, the phrase "not even even one" includes me. I stand rebuked.
And in case I was having a "still so dull" moment, I got this lovely bit from today's devotional in My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers:
“Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and do not despise Him when He says to you, in effect, “Don’t be blind on this point anymore— you are not as far along spiritually as you thought you were. Until now I have not been able to reveal this to you, but I’m revealing it to you right now.” When the Lord disciplines you like that, let Him have His way with you. Allow Him to put you into a right-standing relationship before God.
“. . . nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.” We begin to pout, become irritated with God, and then say, “Oh well, I can’t help it..."
I laughed out loud at the scripture reference at the top of today's devotional's page (Hebrews 12:5):
"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him."
I need to remember that the key to judging fellow Christians is to show mercy (James 2:12-13), and to remember that the same way I judge my brothers and sisters in Christ is the way I will be judged (Romans 2:1-3).
How about you? Do you ever struggle with this?
I'm linking up with others today for