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August 21, 2014, 5:57 pm

If God can forgive, so should mere men

The Bible says “Do not judge, lest you be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1–2. For the record, that’s pretty simple stuff.

Now when you consider that these words come straight from Christ, they take on a bigger meaning than something your mother taught you as a child, or maybe something you heard in last week’s Bible study. If you’re like me, there are times when you just cannot help but to judge others. By our very nature, we are judgmental. Human reality causes all of us great problems and inflicts great harm. It worried Paul so much that he said, “For I am afraid that when I come back I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” 2 Corinthians 12:20.

It’s this gossip and feeling of superiority that I think Jesus is referring to. These are two traits of the human personality that come from the need to judge. And they can entice us into situations that insure our souls are hell-bound.

We live in a world where one is judged by looks, background, money, educational status and connections. We as Christians should be aspiring to an existence that is the exact opposite. The common denominator in heaven is a fundamental belief in a Jesus who taught us not to judge lest we be judged. The struggle, then, is to actually walk in the shoes of another human being, consider the circumstances, recognize the cruelty in life and in some ways, become your brother’s keeper. When it’s all said and done, it’s easy to understand if God can forgive you, then who are we to think or act as if we’re better than God? Somebody better wake up and pay attention. This is clear, not confusing. There are no perfect people, pastors, churches, mothers, fathers or children. We are all as dirty rags in the eyesight of the Almighty. Talk about an attitude adjustment. God does it for me. The least I can do is do it for someone else. It’s called forgiveness.

My point is that when the temptation arises to pass judgment on someone you think is just an awful human being with no redeeming qualities, remember this: “For if you forgive them when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14–15. We all need to work on this, because our very souls are at stake here. So the next time you are prone to look down your nose at someone, take a moment and look up. That would probably be an excellent time to ask for God’s grace in forgiving your unkind thoughts. The alternative, I’m told, is to have the Lord look down his nose at you. You see God is the only one who can judge and forgive at the same time. Remember that, and …

May God bless and keep you always.