Snap Judgements

MJOF-DevotionsHow many of us have made snap judgements? Whenever you see someone on the side of the road with a sign and you think… I hope they don’t come up to me. I don’t want to give them money cause I don’t know what they will use it for. Or you judge someone by what they have or don’t have or the way they look? I have done that more times than I can count.

I feel sometimes we get so comfortable in our churches that we don’t want to have our apple cart upset and therefore, don’t reach out to those who need us the most. Do we speak in love to those who are on drugs and need deliverance? Do we show love to those who don’t seem to know how to act in church? Do we do what Jesus did and feed the hungry (with out judging), help the needy, minister to those who are lonely and ostracized.

I find that it really speaks something about us when we think we have to protect what it is ours… our money, our spot, our whatever and we choose to judge others by what we see. The Word tells us not to judge lest we be judged.

James 2: 1-12  My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.  For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.  But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.  For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

We are told here that we should not claim to have faith if we show partiality for one person over another.  Also, it says that if we show mercy we will be shown mercy but if we do not show mercy we won’t have mercy shown to us by God.

We are supposed to be Jesus disciples. We should do what He did. What did He do? He loved the unlovable. He provided for those without. He ate and drank with ‘sinners’. When the religious folk found out he was doing this they had a fit… who does He think He is? Well, God actually. He was sent to save everyone; the homeless person on the street, the drug addict, the prostitute, the ornery, the obnoxious, the ones with no count.

He was also sent to save the wealthy and the middle class as well as the poor. He was sent to save the widow and the orphan. He wants us to show His love to all these people, even to our mortal enemies. Jesus said “Love your enemies, pray for those who curse you.” Matthew 5: 44 How are we to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world if we have a bad attitude about certain circumstances. So many times we don’t realize that we are actually being unloving to those who are different because we are judging their actions.

I have read somewhere that we judge ourselves by our intentions and we judge others by their actions. It matters not what they wear or what they do inside the church walls, I had a friend tell me that a woman who was possibly on drugs came to her church one day, slept on the back pew and then hugged her as she stood by the door before service was even over and walked out. Many people could have told her not to sleep there, criticize her clothing or her lack of church etiquette. However, my sister in Christ was Jesus with skin on that day and hugged a lady I am sure not many would have hugged. Who knows what brought her there that day. That may have been the only safe place she had to sleep.

We show mercy and God’s love to others by putting feet to our intentions. James goes on to tell us not to tell someone eat well and stay warm if we don’t give them food or warm clothing. We must check our attitude at the door and adjust our halos. None of us are perfect so we should not look down on others who are imperfect like us. They just sin different than we do. No sin is big or little, it is all the same. It all cost Jesus His life on Calvary. Just because some sin is more visible than others does not mean we should judge that either.. do we want people in our closets? Do we want people in our minds? I think not. We all sin, whether others can tell or not.  We all need God’s grace and mercy and forgiveness which He freely gives. So we should be willing to give that same grace, mercy and forgiveness to others.

Let’s check the attitude of our hearts and choose to ask for forgiveness when it has not been as loving as it should have been. Or when we have not shown Christ love to others. This life is certainly not about us anyway, it is about Him and them.

 

Kelly Davis