Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt
Luke 6:37 ”Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
You are not unique if you find that you accidentally judge people even though your heart tells you that you shouldn't. Before we give our lives to Christ, we are what the Bible calls, "carnally minded." That means that we don't think like God. We think like people in the world who don’t have God’s Holy Spirit to help them. The world doesn't know God's way of thinking. Even when we give our life to Jesus and become born-again, our mind doesn't just instantly think like God. The Bible says our mind has to be changed or transformed. Romans 12:2 says it like this. “Don't copy the thinking, the behavior, and the customs of this world, but instead, let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”
The changing or renewing of our mind to think like God thinks is a process. The Holy Spirit teaches us how God thinks as we meditate on the Word of God. As we begin to see how God thinks, it corrects our thinking leading then to change in thought and behavior – a little at a time. For most people this is a long process over many years. Since it doesn’t happen over night, that means we will have some of our old corrupted thinking and ways of doing things within us that are still waiting to be changed.
A part of corrupted thinking that needs to be dealt with is being judgmental of people. Sometimes we will look at someone or at something that is going on in someone's life and based on little or no information, we make a judgment call about what we think they are like or what their life is like. We judge their choices as stupid without knowing the reasoning behind why they made them. If they are having negative circumstances going on in their life, we may look at them and make a judgment about why we think those things are happening.
I recently had a person tell me that he is good at looking at people he has never met before and knowing what they are like. This person said to me, "Sometimes I can just look at people and I know if they are honest or not." The truth is - that's not true. 1 Corinthians 2:11 tells us that no man knows what is in the heart of another man. Only God does! There are a small number of personality profilers in the world who know things about people based on previous behaviors and background family information, but even they do not know what is in a person’s heart. When we think we know just what a person is like that we don't even know, we are being judgmental. Jesus warned us not to be judgmental because if we did, we would also be judged by other people.
In Luke 13:1-3, we see Jesus teaching his disciples not to be judgmental. I believe He was teaching them this because He knew what was in their hearts and thoughts - judgmental thoughts! The verses say this: "Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
The disciples that had heard about Pilate murdering and mixing the blood of people with sacrifices might have been wondering why it wasn't them that were killed. They were probably thankful it wasn't them. Then they made the common mistake that so many of us make when we try to figure out why bad things happen to others. They thought, "I wonder why this happened to them?" They began to think, “they must have done something bad or horrible that God allowed this to happen to them." That's judgmental and wrong thinking. Jesus told them it was. He said that kind of thinking should cause them to repent. He then helped them see that if those kinds of things happen because of sin or evil that someone does, they would all be dead!
We have all sinned. If we are going to be punished for it then you and I might as well concede and go to the front of the line. No, that's not the way it is! Jesus washed yours and my sins away. Judgment is withheld because our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus. He has forgiven our sins. Then why do bad things still happen? Because Satan, the god of this world is in this earth and he hates us. He attacks. Jesus was trying to help them see this truth.
When you hold someone in judgment, you erode any compassion or desire that might otherwise compel you to help that person. God wants us not to hold people in judgment, but to keep our hearts open and ready to help them if the opportunity arises. If they are being attacked by Satan, how much more do they need our help? Being judgmental causes you to want to write people off. God wants you to be open to help them prayerfully or other! Besides that, if you don't judge them and you sow compassion to them, it's what you will one day receive back in your life!
Drive out judgmental thinking and renew your mind with God’s compassion. Be blessed knowing that when people are going through hard times, you can be and agent of His love and touch to help them. While everyone else is judging them, you may be the one who turns them around!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.