Take today’s challenge: Try “loving” again. “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
What’s with that? The unfair put downs, the harsh criticizing of others? Those thoughts of…
“he’s wrong; I’m right”
“I’m good, and he’s not”
“he’s bad because he did that”
The Bible explains it this way:
1. We feel superior, self-righteous. – Matthew 7:1
2. We take on the attitude of being a judge of others. – Matthew 7:1
3. We fail to look out for the interests of others. – BibleGateway search: “interests of others.”
So how do I put down my put-downs? 1 How do we go from, “that person is bad”, to a place where we honestly say…?
That person is loved by God. – John 3:16
I refuse to be The Judge, unloving, unkind and critical of that person. – Matthew 7:1
I refuse to dwell on the negative. – Philippians 4:8
I choose love. – John 13:34-35
I choose to put their interests above mine. – Philippians 2:4
The Apostle Paul suggests we, Christians, put our own self needs aside and “try to” act on what is best for the other person. That was Christ’s way. Christ said “Deny yourself…” Paul put it this way:
But why, you may ask, must I be guided and limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why let someone spoil everything just because he thinks I am wrong? 31 Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking. 32 So don’t be a stumbling block to anyone, whether they are Jews or Gentiles or Christians. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do, not doing what I like or what is best for me but what is best for them, so that they may be saved. – 1 Corinthians 10: verses 29b-33 Living Bible (TLB)
To “act on” what is best for someone else. That is not automatic. But it begins by actually trying to. “I, also, try to please everybody in every way….” 2.
Love begins in the heart that is sold-out to Christ, “the God of love”, filled by His Spirit, who empowers our love, and proceeds into action by our choice. Each day I choose to follow Him in all things, even when someone is bad. In Christ I win — when the other person “wins”. And when I fail, I confess it for what it is, move-on, and try “loving” again.
Take today’s challenge: Try “loving” again.
Be made complete
[be what you should be],
live in peace
[enjoy the spiritual well-being
experienced by believers who walk closely with God];
and the God of love and peace
[the source of lovingkindness]
will be with you.
– 2 Corinthians 13:11
John 13:34-35 I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”
1 Corinthians 10:29-33 Expanded Bible (EXB)
29 I don’t mean ·you think it is wrong [your conscience], but the ·other person might [the concience of the other person]. ·But why, you ask, [or For why] should my freedom be judged by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I eat the meal with thankfulness, why am I criticized because of something for which I thank God?
31 ·The answer is [or Therefore; In summary], if you eat or drink, or if you do anything, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Never do anything that might hurt others—Jews, Greeks, or God’s church— 33 just as I, also, try to please everybody in every way. I am not trying to do what is ·good [advantageous] for me but what is ·good [advantageous] for most people so they can be saved.
- https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/put-down: Synonyms for put down: bad-mouth, belittle, cry down, decry, denigrate, deprecate, depreciate, derogate, diminish, dis (also diss) [slang], discount, dismiss, disparage, kiss off, minimize, play down, poor-mouth, run down, talk down, trash, trash-talk, vilipend, write off
Words Related to put down: discommend, abuse, scold, disapprove (of), dislike, censure, condemn, criticize, denounce, reprehend, reprobate, asperse, defame, malign, rip, slander, slur, traduce, vilify, discredit, disgrace,
- – 1 Corinthians 10:29-33 Expanded Bible (EXB)