Wednesday, March 18, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 69)

Jesus said, “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.”
— Matthew 7:1 (USC)
Out of our innate humanness, that which has become us, extant the Fall, we are betrothed to a sinister want of carnage — to indemnify our own fault-worthy acts and omissions, but to hold others accountable for theirs.
Jesus’ will is the repeal of such a betrothal. And since we have become his — if indeed we are — we are to indemnify others whilst taking hold of the awareness of the faults-of-worth we, ourselves, exact.
To be hard on ourselves whilst not being so hard as to allow Satan the foothold of trashing our self-esteem is our goal.
We are counselled well when we resist speaking badly of somebody, and, in that very moment, we sense the folly in such self-righteousness. We are no better than anyone else from a moral standpoint besides what Christ has gifted and goaded within us.
We can take no credit from the work of the Divine agents who faithfully usurp our folly with God’s solemn wisdom at the behest of our will of obedience.
The blessings for resisting the temptation of judging another are a multiplicity.
We stay within our own damaged self and God ministers to our brokenness. We find a reason to praise God for the person we were just about to judge. We attribute blessing to God for the insight and awareness and revelation of truth. We thank our Lord for the empowering of love that transcends the moment and quickens us to kindness, compassion and grace. We become aware of the Divine Presence which can abide in us; but only through obedience. We are tethered to the Watch Keeper of our lives and our spiritual connectedness becomes surer and truer.
Judging another breeds its own condemnation. Those who are condemned in our sight evidence our own condemnation. Judgment is God’s and we usurp it at our own very direct peril.
This is all dangerous talk.
But the fear of the Lord is good in that it motivates us to do better; to do what is right. We can do better. We can do the right thing. So we should.
Supreme it is to have God enlighten us to our own folly, than allow Satan the satisfaction of cursing them and us.
God can do much more to bless us and others if we will take stock of our own fault.
Judge not and Satan alone is judged. Condemn not and the Accuser is out of work!
Judge not and God’s role is not begrudged. Condemn not and our role we do not shirk.
1.     There are times when you have judged that have turned out badly? Reflect over one of these times. What did you learn and apply as a result?
2.     How did it feel when you were unfairly judged? How does that motivate you to stop judging others?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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