Strong spirits: Don't!

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Photo: Emmanuel Keller

Have you got a pet peeve? Is there a type of person you have trouble with? Do you ever get critical of others? Pay attention!

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Jesus to his followers (Matthew 7:1,2)

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things." the apostle Paul (Romans 2:1)

"Jesus' instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, "Don't". The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known." YMCA chaplain, Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest).

I know how critical and judgmental I can be... usually with no provocation at all. It is arrogance on my part, thinking I am always right, my ideas are best, my way of doing things makes the most sense. Only God sees into the heart of each of us. Only he is in a position to judge. We would be smart to leave it to him.

It is alright, even necessary, to discern right from wrong. We are called to fight against evil and injustice. Speaking the truth in love is one of our most needed (and most difficult) assignments. None of that changes the truth about criticism.

Let's be like Jesus: compassionate, accepting, gracious, kind. Let's let God be the judge. Only he is qualified.

Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - to see them all, subscribe to our daily email.

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