We all do it. It is so easy. We jump to it!
Each of us – we suddenly are harsh and unloving. We jump to judgment, condemning others around us. Our harsh words and attitudes come out of such lovely, innocent faces.
We often draw conclusions without all the facts – and then shame and condemn willy-nilly. But there is good news for we spouses, children and adults of all ages, news reporters and politicians of all stripes: There is a better way.
The life of Jesus went right in step with what the Bible says, “Do not condemn others”. 1
“Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly].” – Matthew 7:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
We need to cultivate the love Jesus modeled, make it integral to our inner self. If we would just take a step backward, take a deep breath, and call on the Spirit of God to love others through us — then we would avoid unrelenting relational conflagrations.
With each event, we can stop ourself from being harsh, angry, and jumping to conclusions… before we jump in, if the Spirit of God is allowed to work inside our insides, help us function in love, and …slow down.
James 1:19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone
be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener],
slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and],
slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];
- quick to hear
- a careful, thoughtful listener
- slow to speak
- a speaker of carefully chosen words
- slow to anger
When confronted by harsh, accusatory “blamers” demanding a quick condemnation of a woman caught in flagrant fornication, Jesus was smart. He was all about James 1:19. He was totally… “quick to hear, a careful, thoughtful listener, slow to speak, a speaker of carefully chosen words, slow to anger, patient, reflective, and forgiving.
In the “now” Jesus did not slip-up with a hasty, harsh judgement. He did not snap-out a quick condemnation. Jesus was not harsh with the meanspirited “blamers” nor with the obviously guilty adulteress. From deep down inside His insides, from a deep, deep well of love, Jesus responded quite naturally — with love and self-restraint.
Love looks at others, those who act-out badly, those who wrong you, those who rankle you, and love says from deep down inside,
When the quick and harsh accusers, the “blamers”, dragged in the fornicating adulturous woman, this was Jesus’ response:
“He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. 9 They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”] – John 8:verses 7-11
These days I’m asking myself:
What’s inside your insides?
Quick and harsh thoughts and words? Or does love come out naturally, smoothly, and sincerely – love for the uncool and the unloving, words of kindness, forgiveness of wrongs? How regularly do I operate in the speed mode of “slow”, as modeled for us by Jesus?
Does love come out naturally, smoothly, and sincerely… “slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]”?
Galatians 5:22-23 Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Since by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves for a sincere love of the believers, [see that you] love one another from the heart [always unselfishly seeking the best for one another]
- The Biblegateway footnote with Matthew 7:1 notes: a This is not a prohibition of judgment, nor is it a command to stop using godly wisdom, common sense, and moral courage together with God’s written word to discern right from wrong, to distinguish between morality and immorality, and to judge doctrinal truth.
There are many judgments that are not only legitimate, but are commanded (cf John 7:24; 1 Cor 5:5, 12; Gal 1:8, 9; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 10); however, you cannot judge another if you are committing the same type of sin.
NOTE: Examples in the Bible where we are commanded to make a judgement (per the Biblegateway footnote): John 7:24; 1 Cor 5:5, 12; Gal 1:8, 9; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 10. But we are told to NOT “condemn” others. That is the job of the Judge of the Universe.
- based on James 1:19 Amplified Bible (AMP).
- To intensely confront, punish, or retaliate against someone, perhaps vindictively or with unnecessary severity; to give someone a problem; to confront someone; To treat severely or wrongfully. – thefreedictionary.com.