For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you….. (Matt 7:2).
Be careful how you treat people. Better yet, be careful how you think about people. I don’t know about you, but at least for me, I’ve entertained a number of negative, ignoble thoughts about people along the way.
“They’re so into themselves.”
“They’re so incompetent.”
“Gosh, they’re prideful.”
“They’re not very gifted in that. I could have done better.”
“They’re such an immature Christian.”
Yeah, pretty gross isn’t it? Truth is, at the depth of all of these thoughts is really just a reflection of the deep pride that rears its ugly head in my heart. The more I have grown in Christ the less I entertain such thoughts, but if I am not careful, these thoughts are sure to take a front seat on how I view the people God has placed in my life.
Jesus tells us not to judge, because the measure we use to judge others, will be the measure used on us. Can I be really honest? Sometimes, the thoughts I have about others; their immaturity, pride and incompetence really just shows how immature, prideful and incompetent I am. If someone shined a light on my life for long enough and dug a little deeper, they’d certainly find all three of those at work.
Maybe our energy for God is so easily zapped because our unity amongst the body is lacking, because we’re constantly entertaining thoughts of judgement towards others instead of entertaining thoughts of grace. Could it be that the power of God among His people is snuffed out, because the fire that God is lighting in others is silenced by the words of someone who believes they are speaking God’s truth into your life? When in actuality they’re just speaking the words of destruction they’ve entertained about you for far too long about you?
I’ve seen this happen in my own marriage, when I’ve entertained thoughts about my husband that are negative and not encouraging. It makes it much easier for them to eventually leak out of my mouth and spew discouragement upon him, instead of belief and words of affirmation.
Sometimes I think we believe we’re helping people, when in actuality we’re hurting them, because we’re keeping them from their growth in Christ. Instead of allowing people to fail, we keep them from failing by not giving them a more to do, because, out of our need to be in control, we think we can do it better. Therefore, we become leaders who don’t share, but who hoard and control at every turn. This is simply a vain attempt to try and play god, acting as though we, by our abilities that are obviously better than the growing gifts of those around us, can usher in the Spirit’s power.
I have learned in my life, that the best place I can find myself in, is a posture of praise towards the Lord for the Kingdom work of others. Should I offer words of growing encouragement to someone in need of some helpful feedback? Not if I haven’t first gained their trust. Certainly, once I have done that, then by all means, speak those words, but do so in love and with great encouragement. We don’t understand just how powerful our words are to someone until we start spewing discouragement over their growth in Christ.
Be encouraged today to fight for someone’s growth, not against it. Kill that negative attitude. It’s really just pride that wants to divide God’s church.
Lord, forgive me when I have spewed discouragement on others. I want to be like you. I want to speak the truth in love. I want to be a Kingdom worker for you who shares in ministry, no hoards it. God, may I entrust every single moment to you. May my heart be fully satisfied in who I am in Christ. May my thoughts about others lift them up and bring you glory, in Jesus name, Amen.