It seems that God always sends me the same message in several ways. This morning I was reading in Max Lucado’s daily devotional, Grace for the Moment. The devotion for May 8th is entitled, “Get Out of the Judgment Seat” (based on Matthew 7:2, “You will be judged in the same way you judge others.”)
Lucado, one of my favorite wordsmiths, says—“We condemn a man for stumbling this morning, but we didn’t see the blows he took yesterday. We judge a woman for the limp in her walk, but cannot see the tack in her shoe. . . . Not only are we ignorant about yesterday, we are ignorant about tomorrow. Dare we judge a book while chapters are yet unwritten? Should we pass a verdict on a painting while the artist still holds the brush? How can you dismiss a soul until God’s work is complete?”
What would the verdict look like if we judged Moses right after killing the Egyptian; or David immediately after his affair, murder, and cover-up; or the woman at the well before her encounter with Jesus; or Peter the moment after the rooster crowed? The list is endless. . .
Shortly after reading these words (still pondering Lucado’s challenge) I began preparing for my adult class. This Sunday we are taking a close look at James 2:1-13, a section titled “Favoritism Forbidden” in the New International Version. James tells us very clearly that judging a person by their outward appearance is the opposite of Christlike behavior.
One of the resources I’m reading to prepare for our study is Warren Wiersbe’s book, Be Mature, a study of the book of James. Wiersbe says that “Christ is the link between us and others”—not appearance, achievement, ability, or affluence. “When we encounter another Christian, we can accept them because Christ lives in them. When we encounter someone who is not a Christian, we can accept them because Christ died for them.”
We must learn to love (James 2:8) and to show mercy (James 2:13), for we are all law breakers in desperate need of God’s amazing grace. Eugene Peterson translates James 2: 13 this way, “For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.”
I am challenged today! I want to be known for my “kind mercy” not my “harsh judgment.”
Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. If you’re looking for specific resources, be sure to check out the topics in the column to the right. Otherwise, feel free to look around! ~ Kerry