This morning Brad & I went to breakfast at Holiday Burgers. We only do that about once a month, mainly because Brad works second shift and is usually up late and wakes a bit late. There is something about having breakfast with just the two of us, that makes the day go better. I so enjoy when we connect on this level, that is when we seem to talk about our hope and our dreams and our successes and our failures.
It is so odd for us to go out to eat now that he has had his gastric bypass. He ordered one egg, scrambled and had 1/2 a piece of my bacon and part of a piece of toast. It is so strange when the waitresses look at this big guy and he orders one egg. You can tell they want to say, are you sure sir? but they don’t.
We split a kids meal at O’Charley’s the other day and asked for an extra plate. The server gave us a look that cracked us up after she left the table. We usually explain and then this light bulb goes off inside that you can just about see. . . judgement is such a strange thing.
I think sometimes our judgement of others keep us from seeing just how big God can be. How do we rank or judge people. Is it their clothes, their car, the way they talk?
Do you see a girl with a nose ring and automatically decide she is a rebel and loves heavy metal music? Do you see a tattoo and automatically assume that person drive a harley and drinks alot of beer? Do you see a bi-racial couple and cringe? We shouldn’t – see these things are not sins – these things are things that society has put out there as acceptable or not.
The Bible teaches us in Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Sometimes we want to look on the outside of a situation and put our judgement on it. Maybe that girl with the nose ring is a grad-student who will make a difference to our country one day. Maybe that tattoo has a significance to that man that gives him hope everytime he sees it. Maybe that family has more love in it than you could ever know and if your mind were more open, would be happy to share it with you.
What about the other side of judgement. Do you see a man in a business suit and assume he has his life together? When a family is walking down the lane with a stroller and a five-year old on a bike, do we automatically go, “Awww, how sweet”. ? Do we look at preachers and teachers and elected officials and automatically assume they should be ‘perfect’ people?
See, judgement can be negative even when we think we are being positive. Maybe that man is crook and stole from his employer today. Maybe that family is on the brink of divorce because of infidelity. Maybe that community leader is just a person like us with faults and needs.
When we judge people either positively or negatively we take away God’s ability to give us discernment into how to pray. If we take off our judges cloak and ask God to show us people’s hearts and intentions, then we can pray for them as God would want us to.
Galations 2:6 says “As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance . . .”We should not have agenda’s when we bring something to the Lord. We should be asking him to help us to see past our human weaknesses and to pray for our family, friends and neighbors just like he would want us to. . .
In 1st Corinthians 4:5 we read “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” See, God does not need our help in deciding who is worthy of His Love and His Salvation. It is our job to show forth His love so that people want to know more about him.
One of the most interesting scriptures I found brings me to my final point. Why don’t we judge ourselves with the same yardstick we do others? Are we easier on ourselves or our kids or our husbands that on a family down the street? Let’s read 1st Corninthians 11:31 “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.” How is that for God telling us like it is. . Let’s remember to judge others as we would judge ourselves and to seek God’s discernment about all situations and He will give us the answers we are seeking.
Have a blessed Thursday!