August 9, 2013
Being a psychiatrist, I am always observing, evaluating, and diagnosing, and then developing, devising, and teaching solutions. I am good at these tasks, so I have no OFF button for them. Unfortunately, these skills bleed into my other relationships. So one area I am constantly working on is how quickly I jump to judgment of another person as part of my evaluation skills. We are all so quick to judge. And as judges, we can be impatient and hurtful, especially to those we love. God calls us to be disciples and witnesses … not lawyers and judges. So, as we understand His calling for us more fully, we should become more patient and understanding with others.
You see, judging isn’t all bad, and we addressed the calling and importance of judging in past devotionals. But when we take on the role of judge without the intent to love and grow the other person, we are really revealing our own failures. Who are we to judge others with the motivation to belittle them? Do we like being judged? When we are judging, being sarcastic, or making a critical comment, we get a glimpse into our own hearts. This harsh attitude reveals some of the insecurities, hurts, baggage, and issues that are still unresolved, and affect the lenses we use to see life, others, and ultimately God.
When you have that urge to judge, critique, belittle, or exalt yourself above another, stop your tongue. Instead, turn your focus inward and perform some self-assessment. Do some heart analysis and see what is at the center of your heart that causes your view of others, yourself, and God to orbit around it. The time you spend in self-assessment can be incredibly revealing … and relieving. You will find your need to judge diminishes. Also, when you are called by God to evaluate and judge others, you will be able to love them and be a positive instrument for growth in their lives and your own.
During this time of heart diagnostics, be confident that God can take care of you while you are feeling uneasy … whether it be from anger, hurt, guilt, revenge, bitterness, anxiety, or sadness. Whatever the feeling, trust God to comfort you and give you power to prevent the emotion from ruling you. Then exercise that power, settle yourself, and examine the situation with your mouth shut.
Today, be quick to listen and slow to speak. And when you do speak, speak as a disciple of God, not as a judge. Let the judging happen in your own heart first, then disciple others next. Self-reflection will clear the smudge off your lenses and the truth will free you from carrying so much baggage. WITHIN REACH will help you do this. Criticizing others or judging yourself is your decision, so choose well.
Father in Heaven, I confess to You, my Lord, that I have become impatient with others … especially those I love. And through my lack of patience and understanding, I become judgmental and angry … saying things I wish I didn’t. Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Help me to see others as You see them … tired, lonely, fearful, and lost. Help me be a witness … not a judge. Thank You that I can speak Your word and offer encouragement to those in need. Help me to be as patient toward others as You are with me. Help me to judge myself more accurately and to be open to what the Holy Spirit is trying to show me about my own heart. Help me to recognize and honor Your Spirit today. I pray in the name of the One who was judged for me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I sat among them for seven days – overwhelmed. At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me. Ezekiel 3:15-16
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:28-32