“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
Judging, I would love to say I don’t judge at all but that would definitely be a lie. So my question is, when I am judged by others why does it sting so? Why am I not able to receive what I so easily think or say about others. Oh, nothing I say would be considered nasty or mean, just sharing my personal opinion. Right? Well, who am I to decide what is mean, nasty even if it’s my honest opinion? If the person were to hear my words would they be blessed or feel a little bit more broken? Lord knows there are enough other things going on in people’s lives that cause enough brokenness – I don’t need to add to it.
Recently, I had a little bit of a flash back of pain caused by judging that I thought I had let go of. I grew up with lots of problems with acne-not just your run of the mill pimples but I would break out in boils on my body. They were mean and ugly and I often felt eyes looking at me with disgust over something I had little power over. At least that is what I thought. My dad planted a huge vegetable garden and when I started eating fresh produce, on a regular basis, my boils cleared. I still battled acne, well into adulthood, and that is when I felt eyes on me. People looking at me as if I had some contagious disease. Eventually in my 50’s I finally out grew the acne. Peace at last. No eyes looking at me in discust.
Until this past Wednesday.
I’ve had a precancerous area on my lip that has not responded to 4 attempts to burn it off and two rounds of chemo cream. It.just.would.not.go!! The last resort was to have it biopsied and then resurface the entire area by burning it off. I had that done Wednesday. My lip looks charred, is swollen and is just plain ugly.
Since I needed to go to the big city to have this procedure done I decided to go to Barnes and Noble and a few other places. I love spending time in the B&N Starbucks Cafe-reading, writing and sipping a nice hot drink. Right away, the woman in front of me on line looked at my face and forceably moved her young daughter to the other side of her to protect her. I am clean, dressed comfortably and otherwise normal in appearance.. It was really odd. I sat down and started looking at Facebook while my order was being prepared….others went to sit near me, looked at me and moved. I felt like I was a leper. Not a good feeling. Of course, there were many that didn’t act this way but instead of embracing their acceptance my flesh chose to focus on the ones judging my appearance. Why is it w do that?
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Ouch, how often do I do the same. See someone I haven’t seen in a while and think “boy, she’s put on weight” or share something I heard about a person with my husband (which is not really bad because he never remembers what I say, right?) Or comment on how someone is dressed or how I perceive they have wronged me. Ouch!! I am so guilty! I think it affects me so deeply because I am so the person to maybe not do the same thing but something just as judgemental.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Yikes, I always relate this verse to doing good for the least of his children. I never equated it to judging and doing wrong to others, “whatever you did for one of the least of these….” Not whatever good you did. WHATEVER you did. Do I want to judge Jesus? Every time I judge others, I am judging Jesus.OUCH!! I am judging His creation. Totally disregarding the work He is doing in them.
I just love how God uses everyday circumstances to help ME grow. It immediately takes the perceived hurt away and puts the focus on what I can change…me. As I start 2016 I hope and pray I can keep my eyes focused on what God is changing in me and not the changing God is doing in others!
Gracious Abba Father, help me to focus my eyes on you and not those who are around me. Shield me from perceived hurt and help me to not receive anything that is not of you. Help me Lord to build up others instead of tearing them down. Help me to see you in all I come across each day.
Thank you Lord for the work you are doing in me-thank you for your grace, mercy and unconditional love! Amen!