Tuesday, June 12, 2012
DON'T CONDEMN AND JUDGE! PRAY!
Recently one of my favorite pastors was in the news for a alleged incident involving a family matter. I choose to not elaborate as to not cause further 'Christian gossip'. If you do not know who I am referring to it does not matter for the purpose of this devotion. Ministers of the gospel are put up on a pedestal of sorts and held to a certain standard but they too are human and they too can have their problems. When something happens and they are well known and it makes the news atheists and others rejoice and are glad especially when their ministry is reaching millions worldwide with the saving message of Jesus Christ. Satan loves to take advantage of it as well. We are as brothers and sisters in Christ not to join in and start fault finding and condemning but we are called to pray for this servant of God who obviously knows they did something wrong and is hurting inside.
We are just as wrong when we start flapping our tongues and talking about something. James 1:26 says "Anyone who says he is religious but can not control his tongue, you are fooling yourself,and your religion is worthless." This goes for when we hear about movie stars such as Lindsay Lohan or Brittney Spears for instance who have numerous issues in their life. They do not need our scowling and finger pointing but these young ladies are struggling in their life and need people to pray for them. When you join in the talk around 'the water cooler' you should act like a follower of Christ and that would not include being a gossip would it?
Galatians 5:1 says "Brothers if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself or you too could be tempted." In other words we are all capable of committing sins of all kinds whether we have accepted Christ or not. The entire chapter of Matthew 7:1-5 is about judging and it says "Do not judge or you too will be judged.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged,and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother 'let me take the speck of out of your eye ' when all the time you have a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye and the you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
Are you able to love all people? Are you able to leave the judging to God? Do you think it is right to gossip even if you think it is innocent say 'like at church'? Start today to love like Jesus loves and to pray for those who are hurting instead of condemning them. Pray for those lost and leading a life going in the opposite of what Jesus wants them too. This could be a world leader, a government official, a family member, a friend, a teacher, a co worker, and the list goes on. It is hard to condemn someone when you are lifting them up in prayer.
I will end with this Bible verse from Matthew 5:44 that tells us to " Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Psalm 19:4 says "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart,be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord my strength and my redeemer."
PRAYER: Lord in the world we live in it is easy to be caught up in condemnation and 'innocent' gossip. I know this displeases you. Let my words be pleasing to you and let me show love to those who hurt or who have gone astray. In Jesus name. Amen.