Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Judge Not That You Not Be Judged

Wherefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest. For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself. For thou dost the same things which thou judgest. -- Romans 2:1 (Douay-Rheims 1899)
Being judgemental is a common human trait.  It has evolved to the state in America of an expectation in everyday conversation.  Individuals earn their livelihoods by being critics; we are commonly called upon to issue opinions about others.  So much judgement gets tossed around that it is difficult to avoid it.  This has got to put an ache in God's heart!

Paul's astute observation is that if you judge others you will only be condemning yourself.  My father would say, "Point that finger at me and see three others pointing back at you."  Another cliche is, "It takes one to know one."  Being judgemental is wrong simply because it violates grace.  The acts of which we may accuse someone are not the issue; the issue is the act of judging others and the corrupt state of our own heart that judging demonstrates it to be.  The vast majority of judging acts boil down to petty attempts to raise our own worth or value above those around us.  When we have to engage in demeaning others to raise our own worth we have grossly forgotten the saving grace through which God adopted us.  It is a spit in God's eye when we have to say, "I'm good because (so & so) is doing (these bad things.)"  God says, "But what about your goodness that I paid for on the cross?  Does it not mean a thing?  Why must you condemn others, when that condemnation was yours as well before I bought you back?  GO - and sin no more."

The grace that bought you your safety and assured eternal life is the same grace that assures and embraces the person you may be tempted to condemn or judge.    Remember that today!

Grace-filled Creator, grant us a powerful appreciation for the gifts of acceptance and the deep abiding grace of our salvation from pettiness, darkness and sin.  Grow us in benevolence and retard our arrogance.  In Christ's name.  Amen.     

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