Back Off: 2

‘In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.’ Matthew 7:2

If you’re the one doing the judging, remember this timeless principle: what goes around comes around. Jesus said, ‘Do not judge… For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ (Matthew 7:1–2 NIV) It’s called the law of reciprocity. It guarantees you will get back what you give. It’s not a threat; it’s an immutable law, just like gravity.

You say, ‘I’m honest; I just tell it like it is. Besides, that person’s sin needs to be exposed!’ It’s not about your honesty or their sin, it’s about God’s Word that forbids judging with hypocrisy or condemnation. You may be right and they may be wrong, but judging in a condemning, hypocritical way puts you in violation of Scripture. Plus it sets you up to be judged.

Question: what if the other person has already repented, confessed their sin, and received God’s forgiveness? Think about it: the worst kind of judging is condemning sins God has already forgiven and forgotten (see Isaiah 43:25). When we judge hypocritically, we’re looking in the wrong direction. We’re avoiding what we don’t want to see—our own shortcomings. Jesus said, ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?’ (Matthew 7:3 NIV) Whatever their ‘speck’ is, it’s God’s business—not yours. Your ‘plank’ is your business!

Jesus also said, ‘They are blessed who show mercy to others, for God will show mercy to them.’ (Matthew 5:7 NCV) Instead of condemning others, start investing in your own ‘mercy account’. You’ll need it one day soon enough.

SoulFood: 2 Kings 6:1–7, Matt 14:22–33

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

Today’s Readings

2 Kings 6:1–7

6:1 Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

Matthew 14:22–33

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Sun 25 April, 2021


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