It’s hard not to judge others, isn’t it? When I did an online search of the psychology of judging others . . . the general consensus was that judging others is a good thing because it helps us evaluate right and wrong behavior. The problem is we confuse judging behavior for our own benefit with judging people to “condemn” them.
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.”Luke 6:37
A point made with a living example in John 8. Jesus was teaching near the Temple when some teachers of the religious law and Pharisees pushed a woman accused of adultery into the center of the crowd saying:
“The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”John 8:5
Jesus knew they were setting another trap for Him; so, He replied:
“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”John 8:7
Go ahead and stone her but begin by checking your own heart first. And…
When the accusers heard [Jesus say] this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.John 8:9
I believe the point of Jesus lesson here is that we are quick to judge one another based on the standards societies’ or our own personal standards.
But Jesus challenges us to judge ourselves based on God’s standards. And He summed up God’s standard like this…
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself . . . No other commandment is greater than these.”
I don’t know about you, but I fall short of God’s standard of perfect love every single day.
I need the Gospel. I need forgiveness. I need to stop judging. I need to love others with consistent kindness. I need Jesus!
Will you pray with me?
A Prayer to Stop Judging and Focus on Being Kind
Father, please forgive me. I want to love others the way You want me to love them. I’ll admit I hate it when I have been judged by others and I know You call us to kindness and compassion so that we might show the world Your grace and mercy. Like everyone else, I am a sinner who has been saved by Your mercy, grace, and love.
Jesus said, “I AM who I claim to be.” (John 8:24) He is the Light of the World and the Bread of Life. (John 8:12 & John 6:35) He is the Good Shepherd and the Resurrection and Life. (John 10:11 & John 11:25) He is the Way and the Truth. (John 14:6)
By Your grace and the power of Your Spirit, please help me love like Jesus. Help me show people Your love . . . to stop judging and focus on being kind. And when I’m tempted to judge, help me humbly judge myself against Your perfect standard that I might focus on your forgiveness and kindness poured out on me. I love You, Lord. I worship and adore You. Amen.
Friend, there is a difference between not judging and excusing and condoning sin. Jesus went on to tell the woman before Him:
“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”John 8:10–11
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Jesus died to save us making it possible for us to no longer live under God’s judgment but by faith and forgiveness live in freedom. What an amazing gift! A blessing we can give to others when we stop judging and focus on being kind—and inviting everyone to know, trust, and love Jesus.
On today’s note write:
With God’s help, I will be kind today!
God bless today as you celebrate God’s forgiveness and love.
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