Two people in a heated argument about religion when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University. Click the audio button found above and to the left to listen to them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Matthew 5 we are told to watch out for three things in regards to disapproving of another.
1. Take it all personally and jump to the conclusion that they are
purposely doing things to hurt us and others and therefore as the
righteous judge we have every right to be angry with them. “How could
they do that to me?”
(see, best excuse for indulging in anger.)
2. Judging them to be inferior to ourselves because they are just empty headed worthless idiots. “How stupid can you be?” Raca.
3,Judging them to be irredeemable and not worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. “You can go to hell!” we cry out when Jesus is not willing that ANY should perish.
So what is the difference between these deadly sins and when Jesus or James or Paul addressed people as “Thou fool, or O vain man?”
I go and gossip to others about our conclusions even before we have talked to the people.
I forget that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to lead them to repentance. I don’t suffer for my correct righteous opinion. I suffer for my bad attitude and delivery. Leviticus 19: 16-18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Search my heart O Lord, am I concerned for their welfare or for mine? Do I see them as inferior or as awesome creations of God whose differences cause them to be useful to others? Do I long to see them join me in heaven, maybe sharing the mansion next to mine, or would I be secretly angry at God if he forgave them?
James 3:8 says that I can not tame my tongue, it is restless to do evil and full of deadly poison as evidenced by praising God one second and cursing men the next. Yet I lie if I say I love God and hate anyone. The Spirit of God is evidenced by pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable–mercy. Not striving or arguing but sharing the truth that God has show me, the chief of sinners. Remembering that such was I before the mercy of God. Remembering that in order to judge another I must put myself above a set of laws that I create and administer and am superior to. Only God is in that position.
If anyone deserved to have names hurled at him, it would be the devil, Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. Jude 1:9 KJV I think that we often excuse our judgement of others and name calling because we are just as hard on ourselves. I find balance in practicing, at lunch-supper-bedtime finding one positive about myself ; then one picky positive about someone I’ve just met; then one about myself. This can be very hard, even painful, but I recall that I am looking for evidence of the creativity of God and picturing how characteristics that now are evil or frightening or troublesome would be blessings when used as God intended. Romans 12: 14, Matthew 5:44 KJV Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;