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GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST’S EXPENSE (GRACE)

June 17, 2017

 

GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST’S EXPENSE (GRACE)

Christian, Why Do You Judge?

 

One of the wonderful blessings I’ve acquired from multiple failings in life is an increased ability to give grace to others. Part of it is because I understand that I myself didn’t deserve the grace I have found in Jesus. The fact is, you can’t earn it, it is a gift from God. There are many fellow believers who seem to have forgotten this fact, and it saddens me. Let me tell you who you may not even know you’re hurting when you (figuratively) cast that stone toward someone else who may have stumbled, sinned, fallen short, etc.

 

When you decide to tell others how someone else doesn’t measure up you’re telling them that they too have to live up to your standards. Some of the most impactful sermons I’ve ever heard have been when the speaker has been vulnerable enough to share some of the trials, hardships and mistakes they’ve had to overcome. The common theme has been that but by God’s grace, they wouldn’t have made it through. Why and how can any of us who’ve received grace forget that?

 

When that star athlete you don’t know is pulled over or the celebrity files for divorce, who are you impressing when you say, “they did it to themselves?” Listen, I know I’m guilty of doing the same thing. I just want to instill in your thought process that the person(s) you’re saying this to may be going, or have gone through something similar. The fact is none of us deserve God’s grace and mercy. None of us are worthy of His love and amazing sacrifice Christ paid on the cross. Don’t ever forget that. Grace truly is unmerited favor that, somehow, we all have access to.

 

There are very few times anymore I personally get hurt by hearing somebody get judged. Call it me surviving 40 years in the wilderness. By the time I figured out I couldn’t earn what God wanted to give me I had scars to show. Those times I do let those negative thoughts get in my head though, I start thinking “who am I to serve Christ?” Well, last time I checked, everyone in the Bible that God used apart from His own son had tremendous flaws.

 

Congratulations if you have it together all the time. For those of us living in the reality of needing God’s grace day by day, hour by hour, your voicing the flaws in everything and everyone you see is not helpful. If we all waited until we lived up to your standards to share the great news of God’s love, we’d never share it with anyone. At 47, thankfully I’ve learned to tune out the negative pretty well. There are nights it hits and hurts though, and I don’t see the benefit in your criticism, except the reminder that I know I truly am not worthy of any of this on my own. It’s His blood that has set me free. Christ only needed to die once to pay for all our sins. Why my brothers and sisters do some of us feel His death wasn’t enough for him or her? Should Jesus have to go back to the cross again?

 

I don’t say any of this to diminish the harm of sin. Yet, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. When you want to say something about someone ask yourself who you’re being most like. Do you sound like the advocate or the accuser? I’ll always wonder how long I would have stayed in the wilderness had I not kept hearing those accusatory voices. I wouldn’t change a thing though, because once I got it, to the degree I think I’ve gotten it, God’s grace was all the sweeter!

 

It feels a little hypocritical to tell people to quit judging. I ask forgiveness and understanding to those I am judging. I am more concerned with making us all aware that our words do affect others. Choose them carefully and err on the side of building people up rather than tearing them down. Remember when saying what someone deserves what you yourself truly deserve. Love wins!

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