Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out or your brother's eye."

I was shaking. Not just on the outside, but on the inside too. I had just finished watching a 2nd video beamed to the U. N. Security Council from Vladimir Zelenskyy. Atrocities appeared shrouded in an eerie darkness especially in the faces of the tortured . . and children! there were women (I saw painted nails) and ones who looked old enough to be grandparents.

It was Tuesday morning and time to work on my blog. Instead I stepped out the patio door to pick up sticks, sweep cement and wash away the bird poop on the windows. Then I came inside and asked the Lord for His perspective.

I remembered a friend's often used statement. We are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. She is talking of Christians who believe in the Trinity. God the Father sent Jesus to live a perfect life and then die for us to pay for our sins. He was raised on the 3rd day and seen by many before He returned to heaven. If we accept what He has done for us, we find that our relationship with the Father God becomes our fundamental focus. What others think of us matters not while what God thinks of us does. We are reminded that living our life here is walking under the Father's eye. That's why I always try to remember to say, "Mind how you go" at the end of every podcast. We all have an eternal destiny. There is a heaven and there is a hell. Heaven is for those who have put their trust in the cross of Christ where the penalty was paid for our sins.

Let me remind you of an earthly story. A judge was getting ready to sentence a man for murder. The judge told the man: You have bragged and made fun of the person you murdered. You have lied and disrespected all authority. You have shown no remorse. I sentence you to the electric chair until you are dead. A terrible fierceness came on the face of the judge while the face of the sentenced one turned beet red with anger. He was still screaming and cursing when deputies pulled him out of the courtroom.

Later that same day the judge was sitting at the supper table with his son. The boy was playing with his food and making a mess on Mother's new tablecloth and some had even fallen on the floor. The judge was hungry and asked for the mashed potatoes to be passed. When Mother saw the mess, she sent the boy to bed with no supper. The judge protested, "Now, Mother, he is just a boy and I'll talk to him . . ". "No, said Mother, you know he's been acting up and we had better take care of this now. He'll just get worse if we don't."

The judge knew she was right but he felt so bad he lost his appetite and couldn't concentrate on his newspaper. Mother asked him, "Why do you have the paper upside down?" He turned it back up, went to the bathroom, then quietly into the kitchen. Mother didn't hear anything but she knew what the judge was up to. She confronted him without speaking. The judge said, "oh, mother, he's a growing boy and I just wanted to take him a little snack". Mother's eyes softened and that's how the judge knew it was ok to take food to his son.

Do you understand what happened when you take the entire day into account?

The judge maintained his thinking and appetite even after sentencing a hardened criminal to death. But when it came to his boy . . his precious boy . . he was going through the punishment with him.

When we are born again (John 3:16), we become part of God's family. We MUST mind how we go because God loves us, Jesus died for us and the Holy Spirit is within us to lead and guide us.

But what does it mean to 'JUDGE NOT'?

Just those 2 words can bring a great deal of confusion. I don't think we will find the answer in a dictionary. Definitions in our day can be discounted or twisted. But the correct interpretation is vital.

The very next verse in Mathew 7:6 is as follows:

Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine,

or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

How can we do that without exercising judgment? Which kind of a person can be called a dog? There are many other verses to consider. The Christian life is always one of balance.

Further along in Matthew 10 Jesus sent out His disciples to heal and have authority over unclean spirits. In Verse 16 He tells them, "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves."

Lord, we need your help. How can we be non-judgmental as well as shrewd and innocent?

You warn us so we won't be torn to pieces. Oh, how we need Your wisdom. Thank you that when you returned to the Father, You sent the Holy Spirit to help us. We love you Jesus. Amen

This song has been on my mind for days . . I like it first thing in the morning when all kinds of thoughts are trying to crowd my mind . . . try it!

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