“And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” // John 12:47
Growing up I had a best friend. She was the kind you read about in novels. She stayed the night, went on vacation with us, and knew all my innermost secrets. Part way through high school we both got boyfriends, made new friends, and began to drift apart. There was an awkwardness that had emerged, which was confirmed through the grapevine of gossip: “She feels like you judge her, and she is never good enough.” As hard as it was to hear the truth of my failings, the reality surrounding the dissolution of that friendship was important for me to understand.
“Don’t judge, just love” is a theme I have since tried to adopt. When we judge each other, it separates us from love. Judgment justifies our feelings of pride and breaks the bonds of friendship. It divides us.
As my children continue their walk through the double-digit ages, I am trying to encourage them to pray for their friends, rather than to judge them. I want them to have courage to speak up when they see something wrong, but not to make larger assumptions about character.
I too am still trying to love and pray for others when I am tempted to judge. Love will convert hearts, not words of chastisement. Jesus saves each soul through His love and sacrifice, not through my words of condemnation.
Can we live more like Jesus this week as we strive to judge less and love more? Is there someone in your life you could pray for rather than judge?Love will convert hearts. // Dr. MaryRuth Hackett Click To Tweet