It says something about the week that I’ve been meaning to post this since Sunday. Oh well…report cards are well on their way to done, a youth group trip is planned, and this could wait. So it did.
In any case, I heard an excellent sermon on Sunday night about making judgments and the command of Jesus to “judge not.” In my limited experience, two verses are usually put together in reference to judging other people: Luke 6:37 (see also Matthew 7:1) and Luke 6:44 (see also Matthew 7:20). I have always thought of these two verses as having somewhat opposite principles: don’t judge, but judge fruit, meant to be applied in some mysterious way.
What I never considered, though, is just how much my judgment of another constitutes part of my fruit. If Jesus commands us to be merciful, and instead, we judge, our fruit is not so great. Interestingly, the verse about fruit immediately follows a description of the ostensibly religious false prophet, and Jesus goes on to warn against hypocrisy.
It is so much easier to make a snap judgment than to mercifully listen, so much quicker to form an opinion than to graciously hear someone out, and so much harder to remember the mercy we depend on than to offer quick verdicts. I guess it’s another reminder that we need mercy to walk in His ways.