March Like Jesus
… Being Generous in Our Judgements
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-6
Key Verse: Matthew 7:2
“For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged”.
Jesus’s gives His “marching orders” to those who decide to follow Him. Jesus did not sacrifice the truth about the demands on His followers. From the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, He laid out all that it means to be a follower of His… there would be no “bait and switch”.
Today’s lesson is another very difficult truth to accept and obey. We humans are quick to judge people while overlooking our own faults. We judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their behavior.
Jesus makes it clear; we are not to judge; we simply do not have the wherewithal to be good judges. Only God can look inside a person and see the intentions of their heart. He alone can see perfectly and someday “God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5).
The good news is that God skips His judgement on us if we simply refuse to judge others. This is the promise found in our Key Verse… “do not judge others, and you will not be judged”.
Jesus reminds us that God is watching and listening to every careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36). This verse gives us great motivation to stop judging people and let God deal with them with His wisdom and mercy.
Jesus gives us more reasons to stop our judgement on others:
“For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” (Matthew 7:2)
The challenge is that we are not good at judging ourselves. You probably know someone that is very judgmental and critical of others. Yet, if you would tell them that, you would surprise and hurt them; critical people usually do not see themselves as judgemental. When someone tries to tell them, they dismiss it as a misunderstanding. The best thing we can do for a judgmental person is pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to point it out to them.
Remember, God has decided to use the standards that we put on others as the ones He is going to use on us! That makes me want to be very generous with my thoughts and words toward other people. I want to give them the benefit of doubt, so I can get the same from God. Jesus uses a humorous illustration to drive the point home:
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own.” (Matthew 7:3).
Let’s renew our commitment to stop being judgmental and critical of others!
Father, please check my spirit when I start to judge another person. Help me dismiss any critical spirit that might come to my mind. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.