Romans 14:4 "Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let Him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lords power will help them do as they should."
Now is the time of year when many of us have either forgotten our New Year Resolutions or are acting as though we have forgotten them. As the Lenten season is upon us, we may have taken on a whole new task, or thing, to stay away from as we draw closer to God at this time. Raise your hand if you are struggling right now... OK, hands down. That was a lot of you! (yes, my hand was up too.)
As we roll along in our day-to-day lives many of us struggle in the area of criticism/ judgement/ condemnation. This struggle is often masked in different ways...
It could be a thought: "What is the world is he doing?"
It could be what is said: "I don't know what in the world she was thinking when she did that."
Or it could be an action: "I'm just going to move these over here because he doesn't know what in the world he is doing and I can't have him ruining my stuff!"
Truth be told, if we could count the times we think, say , or do something in a judgmental manner we would be ashamed of the number. During a recent trip I found myself judging everything from how long the person in front of me took to move out of the fast lane, to the tone of voice one of my lunch mates took with our waitress. It seemed like the only time I wasn't being critical was when I looked outside at the pretty sky and marveled at God's handy work. I am ashamed of myself. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
Romans 14: 10 reads "Why do you condemn your brother? Why do you look down on your brother? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgement seat of God." Verse 12 continues, "Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God." These verses are profound because they confirm our personal testimony to God. Trust and believe, you will not be called to the witness stand to testify against your friend' flaws and faults. Nor will I be called upon to give my personal account of all the errors I think others have made in their lives. God is not interested in my take on the behaviors/ words/ deeds of everyone else . But on the flip side, no one will be called to testify against me either. My life, my words, and definitely my actions, will be my testimony. The impact I have made on others, both positive and negative, will bear witness for me. The people who we may have condemned in our mind will not be called to the stand. Those who we have talked about or looked down upon will not be called to the stand. God has not put us here to be the sideline commentators for the missteps of others. Instead, He graciously convicts us to do better and be better towards our fellow man.
"So don't condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another brothers path." Romans 14:13
Now go ahead and pull out your list of New Year's Resolutions and write down one more: No Condemnation! If there is one resolution that we should keep it should be this one. Now the one about not eating cupcakes...you have permission to cross that one off your list ;-)
Stay fly girls!