All posts tagged: judging others

Who’s There?

Who makes you uncomfortable? Imagine walking down a lonely street and there is one other person walking towards you. It is just you and him or her. For some this is enough to make us nervous. For many though it will depend on what that person looks like and how they walk. Perhaps it is a big man who is not walking straight. Or it might be a person from a culture we don’t know or trust. It could even be nice, clean cut young woman who is more nervous than you are. How many times do we walk by a person with their hand or hat out asking for money? Does that make you uncomfortable? How about a limousine pulling up and a couple get up who are well dressed and appear very wealthy? Would they make you feel uncomfortable? I wonder how many times in a day we pre-judge others? It is more likely that the person coming towards you on the street just wants to get to where they are going. The …

Brian Welch performing with Korn in Hockenheim, Germany in 2014. Credit: Sven Mandel/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Brian Welch explains what Jesus said about his rock star look

Prior to becoming a Christian in 2005, Brian Welch, 48, was a member of the mega grunge metal band Korn, that he helped co-found. After his dramatic conversion to Christ that resulted in him getting baptized in the Jordan River along with a group of Christians from the church he attended in Bakersfield, California, Brian  realized that he needed to leave the band to break free from his alcohol and drug addictions. He also didn’t want to raise his daughter in a drug and sex fueled environment. But when he left the band, Brian did not change his appearance. He still had his tattoos but kept his dreadlocks and rock star appearance and then began to produce Christian music with a similar sound. Then he sparked additional controversy in 2012, when Brian returned as Korn’s lead guitarist. Of course, it is easy for Christians, including myself, to question all this, but recently at the premier of Tim Tebow’s Christian movie, Run the Race, Welch shared what Jesus told him about his appearance. He said that …

Credit: ScrewJ/Flickr/Creative Commons

Look to the Mountains of Mercy

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13 NIV) We so easily fall into the trap of religion where we judge people by what they do or don’t do and the choices they make. The reason we judge others is it gives us a reason to not show mercy or kindness. Yet that is so contrary to how God treats us, who remains faithful even if we are faithless. We do not serve a pagan god who requires rules and regulations to please or appease him. God’s judgement towards us has been appeased by Christ’s blood shed on the cross. Whatever thoughts or struggles I may have with someone, I am learning to first look at myself and see if there is a personal message about my own shortcomings and poor choices. As I have dealt with my personal struggles in this area, I keep seeing a vision of God’s mountains of mercy that surround us. And as we walk through the valley that winds between the mountains …

The brothers show their father Jacob the blood soaked clothes of his favourite son Joseph saying he had been killed by a wild animal. Credit: Domenico Fiasella (1589-1669)/Wikipedia

Is an unbroken pattern a sign of unforgiveness?

Several years back while teaching a Bible School class, I told the students that many young people rashly state that they will not be like their parents. The spontaneous laughter that erupted was evidence that many — if they hadn’t already said it — were thinking it. The class took a more sober turn when I added that often people who make these statements are doomed to repeat the error of their parents. It’s not that this phrase has some magical properties that force the errors of one generation onto the next, rather, it is a principle of God’s word. In Mathew 7:1-5, Jesus condemns judging saying that if we see a sliver in our brother’s eye, it indicates there is a log in ours. Jesus calls anyone who judges a hypocrite because they suffer from exactly the same problem. When we judge our parents, it is a subtle indicator that we have exactly the same issues. But judging can also speak of unresolved issues between a child and parent. More importantly, it may also …

Credit: Srubhiker (USCdyer)/Flickr/Creative Commons

Expanding Grace

Recently, I was at the theater watching Jurassic World with my family. Beside me, there was a four-year old boy sitting with his father and throughout the movie I passed judgement on the father for bringing this young boy to that sort of movie. Later, I made a comment and my own son said, “maybe the man didn’t want to pay for a babysitter and decided to take him to a movie instead.” I was convicted afterwards by my judgemental perception of the situation I knew nothing about. Good on my son for choosing a positive perception of the situation. But, how I grieved afterwards about my opinion. And, even though I have worked hard to change my perceptions of people and circumstances, my original state creeps through and I judge again. I am reminded of the story of the man who was forgiven a large debt by his lord and then went out and demanded payment from someone who owed him money. He did not show this man the same mercy he had just …

Credit: Anna Ghislaine/Flickr/Creative Commons

A ‘light’ does not judge

Some of you may be familiar with Jordan Peterson. He is a Canadian psychologist from the University of Toronto who has become famous in recent months for being a voice of reason in a world careening towards Marxism, totalitarianism and political correctness. In his many lectures available on YouTube, he made this curious statement that has stuck with me. When people look at Nazi Germany, we want to judge the Germans for falling under the spell of the megalomaniac Adolf Hitler and his utter hatred for the Jews. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that we are different and would never have been taken in by Hitler’s lies. Peterson disagrees. He says that if we had grown up in Germany when Hitler was coming to power, we (meaning you and I) would have become Nazis and embraced antisemitism just like the Germans did. Certainly, there were a handful of people in Germany, like Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who opposed Hitler and died because of it. We can try to convince ourselves we would have been Bonhoeffer, but …

Credit: Camilla Carlstrom/Flickr/Creative Commons

The judging stone

I recently attended a funeral for a friend of ours and I found out something about Bill I had never known before. About 40 years ago his wife first accepted Christ and her transformation brought Bill to a place of decision in his own life. But after becoming a Christian, he became very judgemental of family and friends. But, that all changed when one day he read a story from the Gospels. In the account, the Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery. They asked Christ if she should be stoned for her sin according to the law of Moses. Christ responded: “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” – John 8:7 (NIV) After reading this, Bill went into their backyard, picked up a stone and put it in his pocket. He carried that stone with him for 38 years as a reminder that he had a sinful nature and could not cast the first stone of judgement.  I can picture him grabbing that stone whenever …

Jesus warned us about judging others.

Right back at you

I often find myself silently criticizing others throughout my day without really planning on it. You know how it is, it just happens! Different faces over the years come to mind and one in particular sticks out or should I say is still “sticking it to me” because of the subtle conviction that reminds me that I am no different. The twinge of guilt when I point my finger at someone is a signal meant to redirect my focus and help me face my own unresolved fears and insecurities. It tells me that my weaknesses are being reflected back to me through that  person. Really, I should be grateful! I know that I shouldn’t judge others because Jesus commands it along with a hefty warning that when we judge others, God will also judge us. Judge not, lest you be judged (Matthew 7:1) But, I am learning to pay attention to my criticisms and judgements of others for a different reason. Jesus continues: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s …