Tuesday, December 3

Pray instead of judge

Scripture: Romans 13-16

Romans 14:10–13  You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Observation

In this chapter, Paul discusses issues of conscience where Christians may disagree (holy days, food, etc).  He encourages them to love each other and defer to each other, to put the other person before themselves.  For example, if eating meat would destroy a brother for whom Christ died, I won’t eat meat.  He also encourages them not to judge each other, and reminds them that they will stand before God’s judgment seat and give an account for themselves (not anyone else).  Leave the judgment to God and clean up your own act!

Application

Yesterday I was reading about a Christian musician I appreciate and discovered that she had recently filed for divorce.  I was sad and disappointed (that’s ok) and then judgmental (that’s not ok).  I quickly caught myself because I realized that I had no idea what was going on in her marriage or why she would file for divorce.  Maybe she has valid reasons; maybe not; but I don’t know.  So I let go of my judgment and prayed for her.  That’s the better response.

It’s not that I lack conviction about what is right and wrong—I must have those convictions.  And I must, with God’s help, live those out the best I can.  But I must leave judgment of others in God’s hands—He knows what is going on in their hearts, in their lives, and I don’t.  I simply don’t know enough to make a good judgment.  So let judgment go and pray instead.  

And we need to remember that we will stand before God and give an account for ourselves—only ourselves.  I will not be accountable for the other person—just me.  Leave judgment to God.

Prayer: Lord, I’m often so quick to judge—and then I realize that I don’t know what is going on.  Forgive me, and help me to pray for people instead of judging them.