judge not lest you be judged. matt 7
I have a confession. I’m a critical person by nature.
Being critical is being prideful. It’s thinking you know more than your neighbor and pride is the nature of man. It’s only by the Grace and forgiveness of God that we can overcome the pride of the flesh.
We criticize anything or anyone that’s different or anything we don’t understand.
If we don’t understand it, it’s wrong.
If it looks different than what we’ve been taught or known, it’s not the right way.
But is it really a question of one being right and one being wrong, or is it oftentimes more of a perspective and characteristic that is just different.
If we agree on Jesus Christ being the way, the truth and the life, instead of seeing minor differences in a critical manner, what if we looked at it as the beauty of the depths of God.
God is wholly complex, yet wholly simple.
There are depths of Him that we will be discovering and rejoicing over for eternity. That is evidence that He is so complex, so deep and so unsearchable, yet rejoices in revealing Himself and His love to the simple.
You can go to twenty different churches and get twenty different expressions of love for Jesus.
You’ll see silence in one,
Flags and dancing in another.
I can remember standing in different church services (living in Texas, you can almost visit twenty churches on one street), sometimes things looking different then I knew or even was comfortable with.
I’ve been raised to keep my mouth from speaking words of doubt. I’m grateful for my upbringing. It’s saved me in so many situations.
I remember visiting a church a few years ago and during worship they sang a line in a song that I would always change the words to whenever I would sing it.
Immediately my response was a critical and judgemental spirit.
I was judging them for not singing the song the way that I sang it.
At that moment Jesus spoke to my heart and said:
"These people are worshipping me out of a purer heart than you are right now.
While they are ministering to me, you are being critical and it’s keeping you from being a worshipper.”
It hit me.
My critical spirit didn’t affect these people’s devotion towards God. It was hindering mine.
I was too busy needing to be right.
The voice of Jesus changed me that day. Now I don’t want to be held back by legalities. I want to pour myself out completely and unhindered to the One who saved me and loves me.
In any church service, instead of being critical, I’m beginning to see beauty.
I would be critical of traditional churches. My heart has changed.
The heart of tradition was founded in beauty. The truth is many traditions were made out of adoration of the Saviour.
Do people hold too tightly to them and trust them MORE than they do Jesus?
Of course and this shouldn’t be so.
But didn’t I do the same thing as the ones I was being critical of? What I was holding on to just looked a little different.
I trusted too much in my righteous acts and right doing MORE than what Jesus had done for me.
Does anyone have everything right?
No way. We are human.
But we are all on a journey, hopefully with hearts to see the true nature of God. To be only loving and never judging the one whom we call brother or sister.
I hope this speaks to some of you.
Life is far richer when it’s filled with the beauty of relationship with Jesus and not of pride that we know it all.
We don’t know everything and to know that truth is to set us free.
Let’s not look at someone who loves Jesus a little differently and judge them for it.
We are not the judge of the heart of man.
Let’s just love Jesus and see the beauty in how someone else does too.