Judge Not

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Greetings, and welcome again to Meditation Moments. May God’s richest blessing rest upon you.

I like [the words of] this song: to be used of God. I think that’s the desire of every Christian, to be used of God. But may God search our hearts and help us to remember that it can’t only be just a willing spirit to be used, but there must be a yielded, loving spirit and a loving tongue to sing, to speak, to pray.

There are some that could be so wonderfully used of God, but they hinder their usefulness and they hurt their testimony because of a critical, judging spirit, and oh, how much God’s Word has to say about that.

I think we should be a little thoughtful about the way we criticize others, for exactly what you give will be exactly what you receive, the Word of God tells us.39 We’d better be a little hesitant about judging, better have mercy on that person, for the Word states so clearly in Romans the second chapter:

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forebearings and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:1–4).

Oh, I can say amen, that’s such a wonderful verse, that we must not despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering with us. We turn right around and criticize the other one! God’s Word says again, “So speak ye and so do as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he will have judgment without mercy that shows no mercy” (James 2:12–13). So we’d better judge by the law of love, hadn’t we? That’s God’s law, because we don’t show mercy. This Word says here that He’ll not have any mercy upon us that show no mercy.

The next verse is even more sobering, I think, Romans 2:1–3. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself, for thou doest the same things.” I repeat for emphasis, “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth…” Now this is God’s Word that we’re reading. “We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them that commit such things,” and then it repeats again, “And [when thou] doest the same, shall thou escape the judgment of God?”

It just shows that it’s such an awful thing to bear a grudge or critical spirit or have a hatred at all toward another dear one. “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering to you?” (Romans 2:4). It should lead you to repentance and to ask God for forgiveness for judging and criticizing the other person. What an awful thing to bear a grudge or to have such a critical spirit! It’s so much better to forgive and forget the injustice, the awful thing that’s been done against you. Why, it’s much better to forget and forgive than to have the condemnation of God upon you. And these verses make it very plain just what the reaping’s going to be.

Oh, don’t take vengeance into your own hands! Don’t hit back, don’t let bitterness creep into your heart. God’s Word says, “Beware lest any root of bitterness be found in you” (Hebrews 12:15). We talked about that not too long ago. Beware lest even a little root of bitterness be found in you. You know, God will take care of that person in due time, if you leave the matter in His hands. In Deuteronomy 32:35 He says, “To me belongeth vengeance and recompense. Their foot shall slide in due time.”

Just give God time. He’ll tend to that person. You’d better rather pity and love that one, for they’re going to need pity when they fall in the hands of an angry God, who has said in Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

I know sometimes you just feel like you have to do something about a wrong that’s been done to you or some slandering that you suffered, or cruel words that have been flung at you. God seems awful slow sometimes, doesn’t He, to take a hand in the thing? And you just feel so tempted to take it in your own hands and hurt that person in some way. They’ve hurt you and you want to bring your own vengeance on them. But you’ll only hurt yourself, and you surely will disobey God and get out of His will and fellowship, and that makes things, as I’ve said, very much worse.

God’s Word says over here in Matthew the seventh chapter, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull the mote out of thine eye, and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:1–4).

The Lord knows all about it, and He speaks with a great deal of finality here about your forgiving. You have to forgive that person no matter how unfair it has all been. And sometimes it is so unfair. Some things are so unjust and we’ll say, “It just isn’t just. It isn’t fair. It isn’t right.”

Well, it wasn’t right what they did to our Lord and Savior, and they’ve crucified Him over many times, and then at last on the cruel cross. We have been crucified with Him, God’s Word says.40 “The servant isn’t above the master” (John 13:16). He bore these things and He bore them so quietly, led as a lamb to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth, and as the sheep before his shearers, was dumb (Isaiah 53:7). He didn’t answer back or hit back.

God’s Word said, listen now, “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”41 You know, I find it a wonderful help when I pray the Lord’s Prayer sometimes, when I come to that part where it says, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12), if I just put the person’s name in there: If I just say John or Jenny or Jim. “Forgive me my trespasses, Lord, as I forgive Jenny her trespasses.”

For, I read it again, “If ye forgive not them, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” Luke 11. Matthew states it thus (now the book of Matthew), “So likewise shall your heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:35).

This I know, that you can’t do it of yourself. It just isn’t in the nature of man. It isn’t, and how foolish we are to try over and over again to do these things and to live this life in ourselves and with any self-effort whatsoever. It’s got to be the Spirit of Christ working in and through you.

It surely is true what Paul said: “It’s Christ in you, the hope of glory. No longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me. The life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me” (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20). How true it is that which He said, “I can of myself do nothing.”42 Oh, how true!

Just take the whole problem and lay it at Jesus’ feet and tell Him all about it. Then possibly commit it to Him and leave it with Him; and He’ll begin to work. This is what the world needs to see: God’s love manifested through His born-again children. This is a true test of discipleship, for it says in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

But this is God’s love working through you. It’s not a natural love; it’s if you yield all to Him. It’ll be a miracle if you can love that person, a miracle of God’s grace, yes, but this is His promise to you. It’s His law of love, and He waits to help you.

How wonderful it’ll be when there’ll be no veil or cloud between you and Him, and when the indwelling Holy Spirit can work out through you the full purpose of His will and His plan for your life. And that’s exactly what’ll come to pass when you yield it all to Him, put it in His hands. Oh, may the peace of God give you a real baptism of love and peace and rest in your heart.