‘Judge not, that you be not judged.’ Matthew 7:1 NKJV
Parent, you can break your child’s spirit by emphasising what they do wrong rather than what they do right. Church member, you can discourage your pastor through criticism or encourage him until he enters the fullness of all that God’s called him to be.
Why do we choose to be critics rather than cheerleaders? Because it’s easier to point out the faults of others than deal with our own! By dwelling on their shortcomings, we feel better about ourselves. But Jesus doesn’t let us off the hook: ‘How can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck in your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite!’ (Matthew 7:4–5 NKJV)
Think of the person, group or organisation you’re most critical of, and whom you criticise them to. Are you trying to increase your stature in the eyes of others? Are you carrying within you unhealed wounds and unresolved issues, so you vent your anger at anybody who gets in your way? Jesus said: ‘For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.’ (Matthew 12:34–37 NKJV)
What’s the answer? Pray: ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord.’ (Psalm 19:14 NKJV)
SoulFood: Num 19–21, Luke 7:36–50, Ps 111, Prov 3:29–30
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023