Daily D – Matthew 7:1-2
“The“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use.
MATTHEW 7:1-2 (CSB)
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.” (The Message)
These are some of the most frightening words in the Bible.
My last few days have been spent in an environment where every word has been measured, calculated even, to ensure precision and accuracy. At one point, three men sat on a stage and answered questions while attempting to work in all of the current buzzwords to prove their individual fidelity.
It is easy to criticize. It is hard not to become legalistic in doing so. A critical spirit is an easy habit to make, and a hard one to break.
Each of us probably bears an enlarged measure of a critical spirit in one area or another. What are the pinch points for you? I prefer not to confess my own sins in public any more than I have to, so let’s talk about yours. This, of course, is a somewhat clever dodge related to my sinful pride.
My Pride Detector was on full alert while walking around a large convention center the last few days. I was not always successful in stopping my judgmental tendencies from becoming energized at critical moments.
The most effective way I have found to recover from critical observations is prayer. If someone comes up short of your expectations, pray for them. Pray for yourself first. Make sure your judgment is accurate and fair. Make sure you are honestly seeking God’s best for that person. Make sure that you measure up to your own standard. Then pray for the other person and for yourself.
This life-giving habit will fill the space where criticism used to dwell. It makes it possible to relate to others with kindness. It lowers the temperature. It calms stormy waters. It makes it possible to look at the other person through the eyes of Jesus.
I will pray when I prefer to criticize.
Our Father, I often can justify my critical nature. However, I do not want my critical nature applied equally to every part of my own life. I want others to treat me with grace, mercy, and kindness in the areas where I fall short. Empower me to lead with grace, mercy, and kindness toward others like you do with me. Teach me how to seek your highest and best for those who fall short in my estimation. Teach me to pray for myself as I pray for them. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.