On May 14th in Steve’s message “Guilty as Charged,” I was impacted by Romans 2:1 which reads: You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. That got me thinking about Luke 6:41-42, where Jesus talked about removing the log from my eye before I try the remove the speck from my brother’s eye.
I would like to think that I liberally dispense grace to those around me, that I seek to really understand where others are coming from, that I always attribute pure motives to their actions, that when others sound irritated or short, maybe it’s my ears aren’t correctly interpreting their “tone,” and when everything else fails and it becomes painfully obvious that they are in the wrong, that I choose to be “grace filled” and cut them some slack.
That would be nice… but truth be told, every day I find myself frequently putting on my black robe (like you see in every courtroom) and dispensing judgement on others. It’s amazing how fast I can put that robe on! It happens all the time: in the car (often), at the office, in the grocery store, at Good News and even in my home. It is so easy for me to judge the motives of others. I shared these thoughts with my Life Group and they assured me that I’m not the only one with a black robe.
God teaches in His word that followers of Jesus are called to be different. The second greatest commandment in Matthew22:39 says to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and in Philippians 2:3 it says that we are to “regard one another as more important than ourselves.” In John 13:34-35 Jesus taught us “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Then He adds “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Ephesians 1:7-8 speaks about “the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” So we, the recipients of God’s amazing grace, need to be dispensers of grace! The grace He has poured all over us needs to flow out from us to those we come in contact with.
Father in Heaven, help us to throw off our “black robes” and judgmental spirits and instead let our lives be characterized by your love and grace, for Your honor and for Your glory! Amen.
In this week’s PrayerCast, Elder Mark Wurster offers some tips for prayer from Roman’s 8:26-34 (“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”) and offers prayer requests for the GNBC family.
In this week’s PrayerCast, Chuck Field considers what it takes to have a powerful, effective prayer life.