Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 22 - The Danger of Judgment

In the first three weeks of the 40 Days Journey, Tom Holladay shared the first three of the six relationship principles that he has gleaned from his study of Jesus’ teachings from the New Testament, and for the next week, we will look at the fourth principle.

1. Place the highest value on relationships
2. Love as Jesus loves you
3. Communicate from the heart
4. As you judge, you will be judged

What does it mean to judge? It might be easier to first talk about what judging isn’t. Tom tells us that the command not to judge does not mean that we should not discern between right and wrong. It also doesn’t mean that we can agree to ignore what others are doing in hopes that they will ignore our shortcomings.

Tom describes being judgmental as condemning or excusing another’s thoughts or actions. We typically only think of being judgmental when we are condemning, but excusing bad behavior of someone we like is equally as wrong.

In Matthew 7, Jesus provides a picture for us to remember when it comes to judgment.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matther 7:3-5

From this passage, there are three points that Tom makes from Jesus’ teaching:
1. Don’t be a hypocrite – don’t say one thing and do another
2. Have integrity – hold yourself accountable first (focus on your own plank)
3. Show mercy – Once you have made yourself right, offer to help your brother (help remove the speck of dust)

I think we all remember the saying, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” If Jesus, who was of the highest integrity, can show that kind of mercy to a woman, who was clearly guilty, and instead focused on the hypocrisy of those who accused her, then I think we should all be more careful of danger of being judgmental – from John 8:7-11.

Day 23 – Say No to Hypocrisy

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