Over the years, John 3:16 has consistently been one of the most popular verses for Christians. But do you know what the most popular verse is for those who don’t believe?
Surveys reveal it is “don’t judge, lest you be judged.”
And God has been really speaking to me about judging, because Jesus “holds space for me” and allows me to show up with all my faults and weaknesses.
But am I treating others including those who are not believers the same way God treats me?
Jesus embraces me despite my imperfections. He embraces me through eyes of love and nothing I do can change His perception of me.
And when we get ourselves into trouble, we can ask for help and God will provide it. But notice what James adds:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
God will provide help without finding fault. He won’t point a finger of blame or judgment when we make a mistake. He helps us with our problems, even if we caused them ourselves.
And our Heavenly Father desires that we treat others the same way. But how many times have I judged people for the consequences they suffered because of their bad decisions.
I also admit that I take things way to personally, allowing offences and blame to cling to me like the tentacles of an octopus. And this often opens the door to judging them.
I am a visual person and picturing images and actions in my mind helps me move forward when it comes to releasing my criticism of others.
So, in light of this, I have begun to imagine the tentacles of an octopus wrapped around my body and mind. I know that unforgiveness and judging affects not only my mind but my body as well.
These are the reminders I use, when I find myself wrapped up in the tentacles of criticism.
- I choose to release my judgment of others and forgive. As I remove these tentacles from my body, this gives me more space and air to breathe.
- Then I decide I won’t take things personally! And as I pull those tentacles away, I feel an even greater release allowing me to deeply breathe in more fresh air.
Free of judgment, I can open my arms and my heart to ‘hold space’ for those who are struggling. I visualize Christ on the cross and His bleeding heart open to mankind. He has His arms stretched wide to forgive and overlook my sin and embrace me ‘just as I am’.