Monday, January 30, 2012

Judging versus Loving

Judging others, aren't we all guilty of that?

God wouldn't have to tell us over and over in the Bible not to judge or speak evil of each other if it wasn't a problem. Although there are many different Bible verses that address this issue, the verses I am about to share are the ones God has been using to teach me these last few months.

The first one can be found in James 4:11-12:
11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

In Mark 12:30-31 it says:

30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

So if we are judging our neighbour we aren't a doer of the law, since the second commandment clearly states we are to LOVE our neighbour. You can't judge and love at the same time.

Also, it's not our job to judge. It's God's.

While judging might be something done internally it often leads to us speaking evil of others. Why do we do it? I think we do it to make us feel better about ourselves. How often do we say things like; Do you now what that person did? Look at what she's wearing? I heard this person say that, can you believe it? And in the back of our minds we pat ourselves on the back. We would never do, or wear, or say something like that!

But what does the Bible say?

In Titus 3:2-5 we can find these words:

2..speak evil of no man.... but
be gentle....

3For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Those are powerful words. Don't speak evil, but be gentle. Look at yourself, at your past. Don't you remember when you were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving all kinds of lusts and pleasures, living in wickedness and envy, hateful and hating one another? It's only by the kindness and love of God and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit that we are renewed. Not be anything we have done. Don't forget that! So love your neighbor, don't speak evil and be gentle.

It's simple really. I didn't realize how truly simple it was till last month. We were in Port au Prince driving to the airport, when a Haitian man flagged us down. We recognized him as someone who occasionally worked at the airport and he asked us for a ride. We stopped and let him into the back where he found a seat beside Jayden. After greeting us with a friendly"Bonjou" he popped his headphones back into his ears and gazed out the window.

Jayden very quickly began to complain. "Mom," he whispered loudly. "That man stinks, I don't want to sit by him!" Horrified at my child, I glanced back and as I turned I could smell it too. Sweat.

Thankfully the man with the earphones hadn't heard Jayden and I quickly admonished him. "Jayden you can't say that! That isn't nice!"He looked at me for a moment, but made no response. Then several seconds later slightly off tune he began to sing the last line of his favourite song. "
Give me an understanding heart."

It's a song based on Psalm 86 and goes like this:
Teach me O Lord Thy way of truth
and from it I will not depart
That I may steadfastly obey
Give me an understanding heart

I was stunned. Out of the mouth of a little child came wisdom far beyond his years. An understanding heart. That was it.

The next time we feel an urge to judge or say something bad about someone else let's instead ask God for an understanding heart. And let's ask in faith, God did say "Ask and it shall be given" (Matthew 7:7)

1 comment:

  1. What a great lesson that is! Out of the mouth of come we can't learn as fast as they do?? I'm still needing reminders like this every day!

    Thanks for sharing that awesome meditation of your heart.

    Love Henry and Jenny