Sunday, January 20, 2013

Quietly Judging You...

I was reading this morning in Luke 6:6-11 where Jesus healed a man with a crippled hand on the Sabbath.  I was reading the New Living translation of the Bible and it talks about the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, and how they were "watching Jesus closely". They were not interested in learning from Him, of course. They wanted to see if He would "mess up" and break a law or say something wrong so they could have a reason to stop Him. They completely missed the point.  Do you know someone like that in your life?

I suppose it happens to us all.  There are always people who are sizing us up, making sure we are good enough, on target and speaking truth. It's important to be discerning with people and we all do this at times. But what's more important is the posture of the heart of the person doing the judging. If it is for discernment, that is one thing. But that is not what the Pharisees were doing. They were out to prove Jesus wrong, so anything He did right was completely missed. The posture of their heart was wrong. They were prideful and trying to prove they were right instead of listening to Jesus. They could have really learned something from Him if they were not so critical.

The passage in the NLT goes on to call the Pharisees "critics" in verse 9 and then in verse 11, they are called "enemies of Jesus".  We must realize that when we are sizing someone up and all we are doing is trying to prove them wrong, we are acting as their critic and their enemy. This really got to me, because I realize that I sometimes do this very thing! The last thing I want to be is a Pharisee. But I find more of their qualities in myself than I would care to admit at times. Critical people can be impossible to please.

Could you be someone like that?  What is the posture of your heart today?  If you are visiting a new church, I want to encourage you to visit with an open heart. Don't try to find what's wrong...try to find what's right. If you are in a situation today when you find yourself quietly judging the person and not really listening to them, I encourage you to pause and ask God to give you loving discernment. The pride in our heart wants to prove we are right, but the Spirit wants us to love and seek the best in people.

After all, don't we have enough critics and enemies in this world? We certainly don't want to be counted among them.

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