Friday, July 8, 2011


"You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one."  John 8:15

Part of the grace I have received recently has to do with judgment.  For a long time I had received grace and God continued to give me grace, but I didn't know how to apply grace.  Recently He opened my eyes to understand the application.  In the above Scripture, Jesus says he passes judgment on no one.  Only Jesus as man could have said he passes judgment on no one.  Jesus as God we know passes judgment.  As a God-man though, he was keenly aware of both the way He's created us and how we judge others.  We judge before we have all the facts.  We assess and assume.  And then we make comment on what we assume is correct.  We like to believe we are right, and others are wrong.  This is not grace.  For example, I used to feel that kids should take naps up until a certain age.  Friends had made judgmental comments about other people whose kids did not nap.  Then God gave me a kid who did not nap.  And I knew I would be judged.  And I was keenly aware that I had participated in judgement in my conversation.  I had condemned myself before I even had a child.  

So grace has given me the opportunity to say with Christ, "I pass judgment on no one."

Before this new-found grace, my life looked like this:  I would listen to someone talk.  I would not understand a choice, and judgement would either be passed by me, or I would feel as if they would judge me for my difference.  Case in point, I breastfed all of my children.  Up front, I would like to say I have never judged someone for nursing or not nursing.  I know too much about nursing to judge someone for not doing it.  BUT, a friend had a baby.  She nursed her first baby and chose not to nurse her second.  I felt a tremendous amount of judgment in her choice not to nurse.  I do not know, but she may have felt the same pressure from me because she didn't nurse (although if she did, it would have been self-imposed because I did not intend to do something to make her feel that way; the judgement I felt was certainly self imposed).  

Jesus says, "Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly."  John 7:25

When we judge either ourselves or others every time we are found to be different, we become Pharisees.  We set up legalistic systems to snare.  We create standards that God did not intend for us to create.  He is the standard; we are not.  God did not create each of us to be the same, and we need not pressurize our lives every time we are found to be different.  In most cases, when I interact with someone, I am going to be different than them in some way.  That can leave one in a whole lot of judgment and condemnation, either self imposed or given to others.  God has not given us the right to impose this condemnation on others.  Only He can convict and condemn.  We are ALL sinners.

"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, 
for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."  John 5:30

What I am saying may not be profound to you, but for me, this is profound, so listen up.

This one thing, this grace I've been given, has given me freedom.  It sets me free from the striving to be this for one person and something else for another person.  It allows me to be free from negative thoughts about others.  It allows me to be free from gossiping about others. It allows me not to worry about my differences or others differences.  It allows me to be free from negative thoughts about myself.  It allows me to be free from talking poorly about myself.  It allows me to be free to be confidently me.  I was the person who had the kind of pride that left me in self condemnation more so than condemnation over others.  You may think more highly of yourself than you ought.  This grace, it shows you a proper view of yourself.  I am more aware of my sin, but I am also more aware of these things from 1 John:

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. 
No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.  
1 John 3:6
{As a child of grace, I no longer am held captive to sin.}

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, 
that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1
{He lavished his undeserved love on me.}

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, 
because fear has to do with punishment. 
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
{I am being made perfect in all things including loving.}

Yes, I am a sinner, but he has given me freedom from my sin.  Man can no longer enslave me to it.  For perhaps the first time in my life, I can agree with Paul in Galatians:

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? 
Or am I trying to please people? 
If I were still trying to please people, 
I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10
 {I am no longer a people pleaser, I am a God pleaser.}

But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, 
was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, 
my immediate response was not to consult any human being.  Galatians 1:15-16
{I consult Him alone.}

Have you seen how grace applied brings freedom 
to your own continual sin struggles?  

Have you ever experienced grace in this way?  
What does it look like?

How has grace affected you recently?

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