What you think of me is none of my business! That’s a mouth full of wisdom!
This short quote served to turn around and improve much of my thinking. I was raised with a lot of the old south traditions, many of which are just down right harsh. I have difficulty ridding myself of some of them, but I’ve learned that I don’t need to tell you or anyone else, for that matter, what I think.
One of the “rules” that was pounded into my being was, “do not wear white shoes after Labor Day or before Easter!” Sound familiar?
Do you call someone mean? Do you suggest that a certain person gossips relentlessly? Have you said that so-and-so is a liar?
Be very careful with your judgments. If you’re drawing a conclusion about someone’s behavior, that is judging! And judging is not ours to do!
Jesus was very clear about this in Matthew, Chapter 7:1-5, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” (The Message)
My own example is beyond “the ridiculous”. I am the first to admit that I’m an impatient driver. I get upset and fuss at drivers who don’t let me in, or cut me off or daydream at a green light! Seems like every single time I gripe at a driver for, let’s say, cutting me off, guess what? In the next few minutes, invariably, I’ve cut off another! (Grrrrr). And every time, the Holy Spirit gently reminds me not to judge the next driver who infringes on ‘my’ territory.
Think about it and think hard on it. The next time you decide to judge someone a gossip, stop and listen to your next conversation. Are you repeating something you have been told in confidence? Or, worse yet, are you suggesting to a third-party that so-an-so was at such-and-such a place and guessed at what bad thing that person was doing? The next time you judge someone mean, how have you just treated your husband or wife or sister or best friend (Did you just say ouch?).
Gossip, lying, bossing and judging another will bite you every time.
You’ve heard this one, “What goes around, comes around.” And here’s another, “What is down in the well, comes up in the bucket.” It’s true! If you give good gifts and use good words, these good things will come back to you. If you are harsh or mean or bossy or cruel or stingy, those negatives will return to haunt you! It is one of God’s universal laws that affects all people in all walks of life all of the time.
Have you noticed how a stranger responds when you smile at him? Or how a lady responds when you give her an honest compliment? Men and women alike respond in kind to kind treatment.
Think long on Jesus words in Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (NAS)
And, James 3:11,“ Doth a fountain send forth from the same place sweet water and bitter?” If your heart is in the right place, your words will be too.
What’s in your heart? Judgment or mercy? Harshness or Grace? Death of Life? Darkness or Light?
I pray you choose Light.
Scriptures quoted are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.
© 2014 Cat Brennan