Removing Ourselves from the Judge’s Bench
June 19, 2008
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Every morning I reflect on the day’s reading in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Each day’s reading is good but I feel prompted to share with you my thoughts on a recent reading (forJune 17). Chambers wrote about criticizing others.
It’s an easy habit to fall into, criticizing others, and it’s a bad habit! I’m not talking about the times it’s our responsibility to think critically. If we’re responsible for the performance of other people we are required to view things objectively and sometimes that will require us to talk with the person about changes that need to be made. These times, it seems to me, are far less frequent than we’d like to think!
My experience has been that when I get in the rut of thinking critically of others I end up feeling miserable myself. It’s difficult to throw mental mud at someone within your own mind without it getting all over yourself!
I’ve done a great many funerals and one of the nicest things I’ve heard people say of the deceased is that “He/she never said a bad word about anyone.” Wow! That certainly is high praise. I’d like to be more like that, hopefully before I’m dead!
Of course the main reason we shouldn’t be so judgmental is that this is the way Jesus wants us to be. Oswald Chambers writes, “Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, ‘Don’t.’ OK, let’s hear it in Jesus’ own words. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) There’s not much room for flexibility in interpretation in that is there?
God has put a call on each of our lives but that call does not include being judge of the world, or even the little piece of the world around us. So, it’s time to lighten up, extend a little more grace and mercy to people, cutting them some slack. I’m feeling better already!