Tag Archives: judging others

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”  (James 3:9-10, NIV)

When I read today’s scripture, I think of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who famously wrote these words for Linus: “I love mankind. . . It’s PEOPLE I can’t stand!!”

Yet, “people” bear God’s image and likeness — the same image and likeness imprinted within each one of us.

When tempted to curse others, do you see a reflection of yourself; do you see the image and likeness of our Lord and Father?  To see others (and ourselves) as God sees is the antidote for unkind words, and judgmental attitudes.  – Luther

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“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Luke 6:37-38, NIV)

Two lessons for us today from the words of Jesus: (1) Don’t judge others; and (2) be generous with others.

In both instances, our own prospects are inextricably linked to course we choose for others.

When we judge others, in due time, others will judge us with the same standard we’ve used for them.  Therein is the problem with judging others: We are more strict with others than we are with ourselves because, well, we know our situation.  Few of us welcome a standard applied to us that we’ve used for others, but that is how we work.

In the second lesson, Jesus encourages us to be generous with others (in both our tangible and in our intangible gifts).  When we give to others, God gives the same (and more) back to us.  In this, we should not give in order to receive from our heavenly Father; instead, we should give in order to be like our heavenly Father.

Seize every opportunity to show mercy to others, because our day of need is coming.  While we may rightfully judge situations, we have no right to judge persons.  There are aspects to every person’s story of which we are ignorant — and as sure as night follows day, the tables will turn.  – Luther

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“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”  (Romans 12:3, NIV)

It is a regrettable fact of human nature that we inflate our self-worth, and that we devalue the worth of others.  It is particularly regrettable because, most of the time, we get it wrong.

Having God’s point of view means not only seeing others as God sees them, but seeing ourselves as God sees us: Vices as well as virtues.  Evaluating ourselves with “sober judgment” is a painful exercise, but it is an essential exercise if we have ambitions of being like Jesus.  – Luther

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