Measuring Judgment

Matthew 7:1-2 “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.

In case you feel like I am pointing a finger at you, if I am, it’s only the “you” I see  staring back at me in the mirror.

I’ve shared with you about how thick skulled I am at times when Heavenly Dad is trying to get His point across. He tells me once and I nod out of respect and carry on. The same subject “surprisingly” pops up in a random conversation with coworkers or Taylor. I laugh a bit with the “coincidence” and again move along. Then that subject comes up a third time only in an accusatory way and suddenly I’m defending a stance I didn’t even know had dropped the 18 inches from my head to my heart. “What the heck?” Bingo with the judgement thing-“Seriously, Heavenly Dad? What IS the big deal?”

When I attended my Dani Johnson dental appointment, she spoke about if we judge others we are yolking ourselves to the very person we stand over in judgement. She did an awesome visual where she grabed one of her friends around the neck, like an oxen yolk of old, and then tried to do life as if his face wasn’t practically in her armpit. It wasn’t pretty, but it was pretty funny—the point was made into my brain, but then I came home. The point was carefully filed in with the other mental files under,” to consider when I time allows (ok, honestly?’When there is nothing else better to do’- ouch! Truth hurts).”

Not long after, Taylor and I had a discussion about judging and comparing ourselves and/or others. We covered the point that we usually do what we focus on the most. In so doing, we become our own worst nightmare.

Finally, I have a friend whose first half of life was lived alone-no Heavenly Dad. They were the pilot, copilot, coach, captain, king of their life—boy howdy did they mess that one up. They finally saw that the hole they had been trying to fill was God sized and their life did a 180 with some serious repentance. Heavenly Dad has an amazing eraser and an even better “forgetter,” when it comes to life before repentance. We humans, not so much. We…I, remember all the past hurts from these “sinners” and gaze on them with the spiritual guise of,”inspecting their fruit,”and peer down on them as if,”Guilty until proven other wise.”

Did I mention the vanity mirror at which I was glaring appeared to be enlongating into a full length reflection of my guilt and shame?

When talking with this friend I had a realization: in my eyes, in order to be fully accepted, they needed to follow all of the “rules” of the Bible before they even knew what they were. How is that supposed to work?

I asked myself,”Did Jesus only die for perfect people, if past sins are a permanent blot. Whoa…then the bunny trail took me to a scary place and I asked, “Is grace and forgiveness real?”

“Heavenly Dad, HELP!!!!”I don’t want to doubt. I don’t want to fear. Heavenly Dad is a jealous God and wants us to be our best, but knows that is impossible without Him—before repentance. “I’m chewing through this, Dad, please keep talking.”

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Though Paul was more than likely referencing a physical ailment, would past mistakes play by the same rules? We beg that our past mistakes be thrown into the sea of forgetfulness, but alas, the consequences and memories linger FOREVER.  But, what happens if we own our mistakes, share what we’ve learned and warn others about the permanent future pain(leading others to Christ-and away from a wayward path). Could Heavenly Dad still use them or are their mistakes so horrendous that they are to be discounted for life? Self check: what measures I give to someone else will be used to measure me—ouch AGAIN!

According to this, He is the strongest when I am at my weakest. When I am sharing my brokenness and failures, that is when He reveals His incredible strength.

This is just the battle that Heavenly Dad has been working on with me, including me being freaked enough to say,”Enough!” For me, this required a fast of an important element of my life until there was peace—and you’ve just read it. I hope through all of my mental meanderings I got out of your way and you heard Heavenly Dad speak.

Until next time:Blessings!

2 thoughts on “Measuring Judgment

  1. When you speak of others not living by all the “rules” … that’s something we have finally started really embracing: the concept of true grace. The church we are part of now has a strong focus on grace and we recently went through a study of Galatians about it. How there were factions of people saying “sure, we believe in grace – but you need to do this or this besides …” and how Paul stood up against them and said “NO! Grace is enough – nothing more is needed!” Sometimes it seems like “lazy Christianity” to believe that way – but then the stuff we do is out of love rather than requirement! Keep learning, kiddo! I am too! Love you!

  2. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see!”

    In the past year, I feel I’ve learned and personally experienced the beauty of God’s unbelievable, amazing, awe-inspiring grace MORE than I have in all my other years of living combined.

    This grace that sets us free from temporal bondage to sin, is the SAME grace that sets us free from our guilt and shame. I can shout my past to the rooftops because that sin is GONE! Paid for! Done away with! And I’m not shouting out of pride at what I’ve done, but out of praise and awe at what God loved me in spite of, what He forgave me for, what He’s rescued me from so that now I’m FREE! Free to tell the world “that is what [I WAS]. But [I was] washed, [I was] sanctified, [I was] justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11) and “You can be too! You can be FREE! You are LOVED- with sin, in sin, in spite of sin- you are loved and can be truly FREE to experience peace and joy! PRAISE GOD!!!”

    God’s love and grace are big enough to carry away- not only my sin and it’s punishment- but my guilt and shame. THEN!!! He can take that sin, turn it around, and make it something positively SPECTACULAR to behold: He shows the world His strength in my weakness and works all of it for GOOD. The most beautiful, spiritually fertile moments in time (I’ve found) come in times of open honesty regarding spiritual weakness. For it’s in times like those, when shame and guilt are set aside, that we can come alongside one another, admit our self-same struggles, hold each other up, carry each other’s burdens, and walk together towards growth rather than stumbling to crawl alone. Grace in action; the church being the Body of Christ. Honesty. Humanity. Humility. Grace.

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