Monday, March 3, 2014

a judge or a friend

John 3:17  NLT
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

The case is settled when it applies to Jesus.  He became a friend of sinners so that he could deal with sin in the most proactive way.  He takes sin, forgives sin and forgets our sin.  That makes Jesus not a judge, no ones judge.

Since Jesus is our example to follow.  Far too often when our lives are off center or not focused on Jesus we become a judge.  It may seem innocent, but easily we become judge, jury and jailor when we look at the faults of the people we deal with.  That cannot be good.

If we deal with people the way Jesus dealt with them, acceptance becomes our calling card.  It is my desire to err on the side of grace.  Loving people means that acceptance is a big deal to us.

James 2:13  NLT
There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others.  But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Showing mercy isn’t a natural thing to do.  Well, it is more natural for some people, yet it is an act of mercy to overlook the points where most people get hung up.  Move on.  By the same standard we judge people we will be judged by God. 

I’ve accepted God’s forgiveness.  Therefore, I have to share that forgiveness with others.  What is it in our life that keeps us from seeing the good things that God has carefully placed in the lives of people around us?  It is self.  It is our wrong focus or wrong motives that sets us up as judge.  Those things have to become something we deal with.

Am I acting more as a judge or as a friend?  If you cannot answer that with ease, it might be a good thing to ask the people closest to you what their opinion is of you being more judge or friend.  Put away what makes us a judge.  Put in place what makes us a friend.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Accepting and forgiving others is a choice we have to make.  It begins with us accepting and forgiving ourselves for the things we have done in the past.  It begins with accepting what God has done for us and allowing our lives to be a funnel for those awesome characteristics of God to be experienced by the people around us.

Make it a point this week to be less judge and more friend to all the people you meet!

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happy birthday, Julie

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