Tag: judging

Call It Persuading 

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Have you ever met a person who is so wonderfully “together”; impeccable, flawless? The consummate nice guy, or gal, who never does anything wrong?

Perfect people who are oh, so proud of their perfection?

To even hint there may be a flaw in their thinking, or an error in their ways, gets them ranting and raving.

“DON’T JUDGE ME!”, they scream. 

They accuse you of “judging” them, which simply means you’re an evil jerk for even suggesting they could be wrong.

“Shame on you, you idiot! Why don’t you keep your mouth shut? You’ve got no business saying anything to me. You don’t know what I’m thinking, or where my heart is, or all the good things I’ve done.”

I’ve known a number of people who seem to base their lifestyle on the following passage:

“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.” 1 Corinthians 4:3 ESV

In other words, they don’t have any reason to be judged because they’re perfect. And IF there is something in their life that isn’t quite as it should be, they have a good reason.

And it’s never their fault.

Through the years I’ve known a lot of people with this attitude: “Hey! Get off my case! Quit judging me. The Bible says, ‘Judge not.'”

Do YOU think that? Is that the way YOU act?

If you knew what was waiting for us all “on the other side of life” you might welcome a little more “criticism” into your life. In fact, a little more “judging” just might help you live in a manner that pleases God.

But let’s not call it”judging”. Let’s call it persuading. 

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart.” (2 Corinthians 5:10-12 ESV)

And even Paul wasn’t really saying he didn’t need to be judged. Rather, he was speaking of a time, after all was said and done, when he would receive whatever commendation OR condemnation was DUE him.

And he’d receive it from the One Who judges righteously.

“For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:4-5 ESV)

Here’s the deal. We will ALL give an account of our life; we will ALL stand before the Lord.

Whether we believe or not.

Whether we are an atheist, a Buddhist, a Mormon, a good Christian, a backsliding Pentecostal, or just some plain old Joe Schmoe.

We will ALL have to answer to the Righteous Judge.

Would YOU rather be persuaded NOW while there is time to correct the direction of your life, or would YOU rather stand before God with NO OPPORTUNITY to change?

Your choice.

Me? I’d rather people try and persuade me with the love and truth of God.

Don’t be like King Agrippa.

“Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.'” (Acts 26:28 NKJV)

Can YOU be persuaded?

Intentions and Actions

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I heard something a long time ago that is probably appropriate for today’s world. 

Are you ready for this?

We love to judge people by their actions, and yet demand they judge us by our intentions. 

“Here’s what I meant…”

“Let me explain to you what I was thinking…”

“I realize what it looked like, or sounded like, but that wasn’t what I was saying…”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Give them the benefit of the doubt”?

It implies taking into consideration, as you are gathering the facts you’ll use to pass judgment upon someone, that it’s impossible to know everything about someone; their actions AND their motives.

Notice I said “impossible”.

I’ll admit I have been as guilty as anyone; judging and sentencing someone I “know” is as guilty as sin.

But I could be missing something important.

Jesus said something that just might save you and I a lot of heartache and trouble; IF we take heed.

“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 NLT)

The standard. The rule. The measuring stick. Used by one for all.

“I know what I see and hear. Therefore, because I saw you do… and say… you are guilty.”

So, with that “understanding”, your next move is to sentence the criminal. This is done in a number of ways:

1. Belittling

2. Demeaning

3. Ignoring

4. Ostracizing

5. Gossiping

6. Physical attacks

But is that the way YOU want to be treated? Are YOU ready to be tethered to the same leash you want others to be tied to? 

It’s not a good idea.

You see, there’s only One Who knows everything about everyone.

And neither you, nor I, are that person.

We are told throughout the scriptures to judge with righteous judgment.

However, most people, myself included, have an extremely hard time judging one’s actions apart from any personal bias. 

Again, there’s only One Who can.

So the next time you build a case against someone, stop and think. Is it possible you may have missed something in the way you interpreted their actions, heard their conversation, or read their writings? Would YOU want someone to draw and quarter you based on the same information?

What would Jesus do?

Don’t Be Stupid!

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“Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.” (Proverbs 10:17 ESV)

The dictionary defines STUPID in this manner:
not intelligent
having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things
not sensible or logical
not able to think normally because you are drunk, tired, etc.

There are other ways to define it. I’ll try using different, normal day to day examples to, hopefully get this point across; that is, it is STUPID to ignore reproof, or correction. AND, it’s DOUBLY STUPID to get mad at the person who is only trying to help.

In other words, it’s not intelligent, it shows a lack of ability to understand things, it’s not sensible or logical, to get mad when someone tells you that you are going the wrong direction.

Yep. Just one word for that kind of behavior.

STUPID!

For instance, if you’re driving down the highway and suddenly see a road sign you didn’t expect to see. You thought you were traveling west. For three hours you thought you were traveling west. But the sign finally brings a startling revelation – you’re going east!

You understand, in this example, that the sign was posted to help you, not offend you. And because you aren’t stupid, you don’t stop the car, get out, and start screaming at the sign “QUIT JUDGING ME! YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING!”

No, you’re not stupid, so you say something like “shucks”, turn around, and try and make up time (in a ‘non-stupid’ manner, of course).

You have “heeded instruction”. You are now headed the right direction. Yay!

“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.” (Proverbs 6:23 ESV)

Guess what? God isn’t stupid, either. That’s why he said reproof is a normal part of life.

Another example.

One year I decided I would fix myself some baked beans. Yum! So I got myself a big can of pork and beans, threw in some mustard and catsup, heated them up for a while, and plopped a big spoonful on my plate.

I was anticipating something beyond wonderful! Yes! And that’s exactly what I got! Beyond wonderful. THEY WERE AWFUL!

I wasn’t using any lamp, instruction, OR RECIPE. I’d watched people fix them before, but apparently I hadn’t paid the greatest amount of attention. AWFUL!

My wife mentioned to me later, as I related my tale to her, that I had forgotten the brown sugar.

And because I’m not stupid, I didn’t yell at her for judging me or my beans. Really, I’m not stupid! No, I listened and learned.

While working in a foundry, years ago, I was trying to operate the overhead crane while my partner poured iron from a huge ladle. I hadn’t had much experience up to that point and was really struggling. Actually, I was about to get one of us burned real bad.

My foreman came up behind me and took the control box from me. I must have had a certain “look” on my face because he simply said, “don’t get mad. Watch and learn.” And that’s what I did.

You’d have done the same thing! Why? Because YOU AIN’T STUPID!

I could list hundreds of examples, couldn’t I?

We don’t get offended, or start accusing someone of “judging us” when it’s about directions, recipes, or a dangerous situation. Why?

WE AIN’T STUPID!

So why is it we can get so whacked out when someone DARE explain to us we are going the wrong way spiritually?

When we are messing with things that can only destroy our spiritual life, mixing them into our lives, why do we feel we have to defend our actions and blame the “recipe” for judging us?

Well, either we really ARE stupid, or it’s because there’s a devil, an unseen adversary, who doesn’t give two hoots in hell whether we go east or west: he just doesn’t want us to go right or up!

The devil isn’t concerned about our baked beans, or fried squash, for that matter. He only wants to keep us from the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

As for getting burned, hey, that’s something HE’S going to experience! And he’s looking for company. You and I.

So the next time someone says to you, “excuse me, but you’re wrong. And here’s how to get to where you really want to go…” don’t get mad, or bent out of shape, and play the “judging card.

“But they didn’t tell me in love…”

So what! Like someone said, “drive over to Lowes, buy a ladder, AND GET OVER IT!”

Don’t give the devil any more room to steal, kill, and destroy in your life.
And DON’T BE STUPID!

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