Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
In the past few years God has been drilling into my heart, and head, the lessons of forgiveness, and not judging others.
I believe one of the main reasons the world, and the people in it, do not often come to Christ because they see Christians as judgmental hypocrites.
Truth be known a lot of Christians sit somewhere and judge the behavior of others self-righteously. While doing so they often forget that they have some things in there own lives that are not perfect. They seem to judge sinners by categories of sins; they seem to think that one sin is often worse then the other. That’s not what the word of God says, and yet so many people who claim to be His representatives do not act as He act. They refuse to show unconditional love and they refuse to forgive people. But the Word of God says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
If we only realized that by judging others we bring judgment on ourselves perhaps we would simply give those things that bother us in others over to God. Instead we often are mean and cruel in our behavior to the very people who need unconditional love the most.
Not judging behavior or not forgiving behavior does not mean we approve of the behavior. It simply means that we love the person involved and through the love we show them they may come to see Christ. God is love.
No one ever see’s God in hateful, judgmental behavior. Hurting people hurt other people. Miracles occur when we are strong enough to say, “I don’t understand you, but I forgive you.”
I often think we all have selective memories. We can see what another person did or does as wrong, but we forget that we have done, or still are doing, things that are not good for us either.
In Luke 6:37 we read the following;
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.” Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
When I came to the knowledge that if I judged someone elses behavior there was someone somewhere doing the same to me, it woke me up and nudged my spirit when I would think a judgmental thought. By judging others, we end up bringing judgment on ourselves. No one wants to do that!
God is the judge, we are to simply love unconditionally those who are not saved and those who are outside the body of Christ. We all stand before God’s judgment seat and He and He alone is the final judge.
When you see a really judgmental person it’s often because they have things inside of themselves that need dealing with, and instead of dealing with those things they would rather put the spotlight on you. Jesus knew that and that’s why He said right before He died “Father forgive them, they know not what they do!”
Jesus also spoke to the men stoning the woman caught in adultery and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her!”
It’s hard to find forgiveness within for those who have used and abused us. It’s often hard to stand by day after day with the emotional abuse heaped on us by those in our families who have decided to use us as their emotional scapegoats.
Because being unforgiving brings physical distress to us, as well as emotional distress, we have to learn to forgive and release those who have caused us pain.
Forgiving them doesn’t mean that we have to socialize with them. It simply means that we come to a peace inside that removes the pain of the past, therefore taking away the power that the person(s) had over us to hurt us.
For me, I find that praying for those people to be blessed actually takes away the bitterness I have towards them. I know you are thinking, “Are you kidding, I am not going to pray for them and if I do it will be to ask God to GET THEM!”
I have found that we are responsible to love and forgive regardless of how they treat us. We are told to love our enemies and by doing so we actually bring blessings into our own life.
I often see and hear people bragging about what a “*ITCH,” they are and how they don’t take any BS off of anyone.” The sad thing is that is so contrary to any and all teachings regarding forgiving and turning the other cheek. If you notice they are always mad at one person or the other, mad at the government, mad at the other political party, and out to right all the wrongs they see in the world. The trouble with that is that it never leads to personal peace and serenity. People stay awake nights going over something someone did or said to them, and trying to figure out ways to get even.
Remember those little pictures of Kermit the Frog that people posted on FB for a while? Kermit would make a judgmental statement and then say, “But that’s none of my business.” Yes we laugh at that, and they are funny, but there is a lot of truth in that statement. How someone else runs his or her life is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. Only if it is affecting our life do we need to make it our business. Otherwise we need to just “LET IT BE!”
When we begin to obsess over something another person is doing or saying we can stop, change the channel in our minds, and release it. I then utter a prayer like this, “God please bless ***, and bless him/her going in and going out.” Then I release the thought and find my peace again.
A lot of people reading this have already learned this lesson, but I can tell you that I took way too long in life to learn that I let too many things bother me. I made too many judgments that I should have let go of. The older I get the more I enjoy the stable, peaceful life that comes from doing things God’s way. There is a reason for the teachings in the Word and when we follow them COMPLETELY, things go much smoother for us all!
In God’s unconditional love,