All posts tagged: Judging

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 …

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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 …

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 …

Youth Park, Bucharest, Romania Credit: Sorin Mutu/Flickr/Creative Commons

Seeing our reflection in others

Just before we shut the TV off a few nights ago, we watched a few minutes of Les Miserables, the story of Jean Valjean. In the last scene as he enters heaven, Jean, reminded of the mercy shown him by an old priest, sings: “to love another person is to see the face of God.” Those words challenged me to look further into what this means and in my mind I have tied this to judging.  God commands us to not judge others or we will be judged. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said: 7 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2 NASV) The message Jesus was delivering is that we are all the same.  We are all created in the image of God, but after the fall of man we all have that same ugly, sinful nature. We are no different from the person we are …

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 …

Mirror glasses at a restaurant in Budapest, Hungary Credit: Elekes Andor/Wikipedia

Judgements: A mirror into your heart

What your think about others reveals a lot about yourself.  Catching yourself in judgement is a first step to bringing wholeness into your life. There is a message behind our complaints, judgements and frustrations with others. Judgement is almost always a projection. Often it’s not about them, it’s all about you. We end up projecting our brokenness or an unhealed part of our lives upon someone else. Catching yourself judging others is the first step to healing your emotional wounds. Notice every time you react to what someone has said or done because this is really a message to you, about you. On the surface scenarios that bother you seem to have nothing to do with you.  But if you are having a reaction to what someone has said or done, know this, it’s about you! This is tough stuff! Our personal criticisms and frustrations about others many times mirror exactly how we secretly feel about ourselves. But it is so much easier to point the finger at someone else and not own up to the fact …

Do not judge. Credit: skambalu/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does this study confirm Matthew 7:1-3?

A study by psychologists at the University of Plymouth in England uncovered an interesting trait in humanity which confirm words that Jesus spoke 2,000 years ago. In the study reported in Scientific American, Sophia Harvey, Simone Schall and Jennifer Benton found that people who considered themselves morally unclean were more apt to judge others as being wrong than those who didn’t feel unclean. In the study, the researchers had people do a number of activities such as watch brief films where people did something wrong such as lying when they created a resume. They also had them watch disturbing segments from movies and then after read “moral vignettes.” An important part of the study was trying to induce a sense of cleanness in the test subjects and they did this by having half of them wash their hands before responding to what they had seen or read. They asked them to wash under the pretense that they would not dirty the room being used by staff. Even in the Old Testament, ritual cleansing was a …

Message in a bottle Credit: Kev Lewis/Flickr/Creative Commons

Has the church lost its message?

I was on a Christian website reading an article on Disney’s recent release of Beauty and the Beast that portrayed overtly homosexual scenes in a movie intended for children.  One person commented deriding and mocking the church’s failure to boycott the movie that was a box office success. Baited, several Christians responded some with vulgar comments condemning the person. One used the term “bum holer,” a comment that was later removed. To be honest, I felt a similar resentment towards this pro-gay commenter. I have been a Christians for years but a verse from the Gospel of John cited in a devotional I received recently caught my attention. I wondered if someone had just added this verse to the Bible in the last couple of years, because it seems so contrary to current Christian practice. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn (Greek krino) the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17 NIV) The Greek word ‘krino’ means to judge as the NASV translated it or to …

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 …

Government union wants managers fired because they support ‘Duck Dynasty’

Two senior managers (both civilians) at the Elgin Air Force Base in Florida are in trouble with a local government union because of decals on their personal vehicles that read: Ducky Dynasty: I Support Phil. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) which represents some government workers at the base wants the two senior managers fired or at the very least demoted because of their support for Phil.