Judge Not….

Read:  Romans 14:1-12

This week I am once again sharing a short devotional that I wrote for Rejoice magazine for this past week.  It reflects on this passage from Romans 14 that reminds us not to be the judge and jury when we are faced with disputable matters or people who look and think differently than we do.

It is always good to read the Bible, pray, discuss, and discern what the Lord is saying instead of instantly assuming we are right and others are wrong.   It is also dangerous to judge people from the outside instead of seeing what is in their heart.  Here is what I wrote….

“In the “Illustrations of Bible Truth,” H.A. Ironside tells of an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter.  Mr. Potter was traveling to Europe on one of the huge ships that crossed the Atlantic.  When he checked in he learned that someone else was sharing the room with him.  

After meeting his roommate, he went back to the desk and asked if he could leave his valuables in the ship’s safe; judging from his roommates appearance he wasn’t sure he could trust the man.  The desk clerk took his valuables and responded, “It’s all right Bishop, I’ll be glad to take care of them for you.  The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!”

The human tendency is too often to look down on others.  If people do things differently or look unusual, we tend to put them in certain categories that we create in our minds.  Jesus showed us a different way.  He saw through the outer appearance and focused on people’s hearts.

In Romans 14 Paul reminds us that we are neither the judge nor the jury of others.  As Christians we live by the grace and forgiveness that Jesus has graciously bestowed upon us; to live like Christ is to extend the same to others and to allow God to be the judge (v.12).  

A reading in “A Year with God: Living out the Spiritual Disciplines” says, “Every judgmental word out of our mouths violates an eternal soul for whom Christ died.”  Convicting words for us to consider today!

Make it personal:  Lord, forgive me for times when I have placed myself as both judge and jury of another person.  Allow me to find ways to extend the grace and forgiveness of Christ this week.

Have a wonderful week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church