I’m so excited to refer you to Michelle Pohl’s blog where I was asked to contribute an original article relevant to the, Blooming With Joy, audience. It’s about a lesson I’m learning—often the hard way, but it’s starting to sink in—finally!
My hope is to cheer you on and encourage you to learn this lesson from the text-book and not from the school of hard knocks.
While at, Blooming With Joy; look around, be inspired, and learn how to find joy in your mess.
I’m a guest blogger; check it out at the link below.
Or read it here:
Please hear me gently encourage you since the Lord has been graciously tender with me.
Moms extend love with a nurturing, protective heart and are diligent in the Lord’s leading, but have ways of making gray, opinionated, matters into crisp black and white judgements; our version of truth but not necessarily God’s truth. Dads would be wise to remember that not all people are the same. Make sure your opinion is rooted in facts; not in personality and family dynamic differences.
Need a few examples?
- How to educate our children; public, private or homeschool
- Diet; food choices
- Vaccinations; no vaccinations
- Doctors; all natural homeopathy
- Dating; courtship
- College; no college
- Modesty standards
- Attend youth group/ Sunday School; or not
- Accepting an apology as sincere
- Not liking someone’s personality and calling it sinful because it irritates you
- Not approving of someone else’s parenting decisions that are different than yours
- Calling mistakes sin
- Feeling the need to uncover someone else’s sin by broadcasting it to anyone who will listen. Truth: Christ died to cover our sin; not uncover it to the world.
I’m a pro at making snap judgments; always correct too may I add. Please hear the truth and the sarcasm of that statement in my voice! Sheesh! Guilty of believing my own press, I am. How I wish I were a wiser woman, a quicker learner, a seeker of justice, a lover of mercy; as I walk humbly with my Lord. I’m so thankful God loves me unconditionally and credits my faith to me as righteousness—because I have messed up in the area of judging SO MANY TIMES.
Some of the above issues may be a black and white issue between you and the Lord because He called you to raise your children and interact with your family in specific ways. He does this. Just realize that God does this with other families too. Here is the most important part: God doesn’t deal with all of us exactly the same way. As we travel on the same heavenward path, God has different steps and purposes for individuals and families; meaning, He has called us to different ways of parenting and decision making.
Do not judge, (make your own opinions about), 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 (NIV)
Scripture is clear that when we see a brother sin, or they confide in us their sin and need for help, then it is our duty to assist them. We help them restore the joy of their salvation through a daily love relationship with the Lord. At times this requires accountability, tough love, and/or discipline. This is not the same as judgement. See Matthew 18:15-20.Judgement is when we decide and pronounce what is taking place in a person’s heart or mind, what a person believes, or why a person acts in specific ways.
Do I want someone who does not know my heart, mind or motive declaring the reason behind my thoughts and/or actions? Um,… no!
Then why do I do it to others? Fear, insecurity, jealousy, or simply,
“The heart is deceitful above all things.”? Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
Because of Jesus, we always have hope through God’s grace. We can become wiser. We can learn to not judge circumstances, behaviors, hearts or minds. Through scripture and prayer, the Spirit will train us in righteousness; not through our righteous works but through His righteousness. Not by deciding if someone else is acting in righteousness, but leaving the matter in God’s hands and keeping our opinions to ourselves.
I have been memorizing Matthew 7:12 as a reminder to keep my opinionated thoughts to myself because as quickly as I make a judgement on someone else’s heart, thought or motive I find myself with the same judgement spoken over my life or a loved one’s life.
This is not a path I want to walk; no ma’am!
“This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)
I want my thoughts to be good, helpful and encouraging. I want to please God in my thought life.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17 (NIV)
I want God’s best.
I want to have right thinking.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
Let’s not complicate life by making false judgements; wrong opinions. We set ourselves up for failure and for receiving same judgements against us when we do. This is not God’s best.
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30 (NIV)
More than failure, judging others is like inviting a curse on yourself or your family.
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
This is how serious the Lord has been with me about, “Judge not.” This is an ongoing lesson because my default mode is to judge first, think last—people, places, circumstances, events.
So I’ve spent the last three months memorizing the above scriptures, and others, to help me remember,
“The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double – edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
God’s words are omnipotent: Having unlimited power; able to do anything. My words are potent and sometimes in a toxic, unhealthy way. I don’t know about you, but I needed this lesson—again—today—because I don’t want to reinforce a faulty, judgmental belief system.
James 1:25, “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.” (NIV)