Sunday, September 25

Be curious, not judgmental

Scripture: Isaiah 49-50, Psalm 111, Matthew 7

Matthew 7:1–2 Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use.

Observation

There is so much in today’s reading. I’m settling on these very well known verses which spoke to me in a fresh way.

When Jesus says “Do not judge,” it is not an absolute. We all make judgments…in fact, we must. We must judge between right and wrong, true and false, good and bad. So Jesus isn’t telling us to permanently suspend our critical thinking faculties. 

But we must avoid being judgmental toward others; looking at others with a negative and critical eye; jumping to negative conclusions; rejecting or condemning others. 

Application

Before I read these verses, I was praying about my physical pain (arthritis) and realized how critical I’ve been of others who “didn’t take care of themselves.” In fact, you can take good care of yourself and still suffer from physical maladies, whether those brought on by age or by disease. My health is a gift from God; I have no standing to be critical of others. 

I realize that I often make judgements without knowing the facts or the story. One of my mottos lately is “Be curious not judgmental.” Whenever I find myself making a judgment about someone, I want to stop, suspend the judgment, and ask some questions. So many times my judgments have changed when I asked some questions and learned the story. 

Jesus said that the standard or measure you use on others will be used on you. How do you want to be judged? Fairly, generously, graciously. That’s how I want to be toward others.

Be curious, not judgmental.

Prayer: Lord, every time I’m tempted to be judgmental, remind me to be curious instead and ask some questions.