Good morning, DearHeart.
For the past month or so I have been thinking on the various ways in which we judge people and then tack on, “this is for your growth…” as if to excuse ourselves. Fair or unfair, it’s all about the perception and perspective of the judge. There is a healthy judgement that spurs growth, and there is an attack type judgement that causes shame.
We judge others by their appearance, occupation, education, nationality, and money although we try so desperately to overlook each one of these.
In Mark 12:38-40, Jesus criticizes the teachers of the religious law for their hypocrisy. They talked out one side of their mouth while not living it out. They had forgotten the greatest commands – “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself” (my paraphrase).
They had failed to give God the worship which belonged to Him alone. They sought for the recognition to be theirs. They had also cheated the widows of their property and thereby, taking from the needy although God commands His people to be concerned with the widows.
We know that the law is good when used correctly. (1 Timothy 1:8, NLT)
“…when used correctly…”, the Law will point others to their need of a Savior. The law was not, and is not, to be used as a weapon to cause guilt or shame. The law is to be used as a mirror, reflecting any sin in our lives and leading us to Christ for forgiveness.
But, what about when it does cause shame? What do you do with that? You love back harder. It’s the only answer. Even when it is hard.
Prayer: Lord, help me to love you with all my heart first and foremost. And then, help me to love my neighbor, as You define my neighbor for me. Help me not to look in judgment upon others but through the lens of Your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. For there is no sin in anyone’s life that is worse than any sin in my own life. We are all equal at the foot of the Cross. Thank You for the gift of forgiveness which You pour out on my life every single day. Help me never to forget that I am a sinner saved by Your grace. Amen.
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT
“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT