October 15, 2015

31 Days of Truth... Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment - DAY FIFTEEN


How are we doing?
You are back. So that's good, yes?

We are at the halfway mark and I just wanted to say thank you! Thanks for taking this journey with me in discovering, admitting, and remembering these truths that we forget...

Some of these Truths are hard, right? Some of them are Truths we forget, and to be honest, some are Truths we would just rather forget... at least some of the time!

The Truth We Know today is this:

Mercy really does triumph
over Judgment

...it's just that sometimes we forget!


This is such a great Truth, much like Grace, when we are applying it to ourselves.  But be stretched to extend it out to someone who you feel is deserving of judgment... to a situation that you feel justified even in judging... Well then, we like to forget the truth of this statement and let our feelings find voice and attitude and ugliness... oh how quickly we forget!

We can't really dig into mercy and judgment and not find ourselves curled up on a mountainside, listening in on Jesus sharing bits of wisdom for the ages, right? So let's head right for that part of the Sermon on the Mount and revisit it for just a moment...
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?   ~ Matt 7:1-3 NKJV
We know this... and the whole Golden Rule gig: treat others as you want to be treated. We know this, but do we always do it? Sometimes our Pharisaical flesh rises up and we get all judgy and self-righteous and we may even be right in our assessment... but it's the delivery that is wrong and falls on deaf ears and hardened hearts.  

Judging releases all kinds of negativity and bad mojo, y'all! 

Judging, in case you are wondering, is different than accountability! Judging implies that you are wrong and I am right. It creates an 'us' and 'them' and it feels good to us.  

Accountability, however, is actually helpful and not as easy. It implies --and shows through relationship and mutual investment-- that I am for you and I am here to walk with you as we walk together! Accountability is us with Him.

In his book, The Good and Beautiful Life, James Bryan Smith says this of Matthew 7:1-3:
"Jesus' first point is clear: if you judge someone, be prepared to be judged in return. Jesus then makes a humorous observation about judging, namely, the hypocrisy that we display when we judge others. Imagine a woman with a log lodged in her eye offering to help a man to dislodge a tiny speck of sawdust in his eye.  Jesus' hearers must have laughed out loud at the absurdity of the situation.
Most of the time people interpret the log to mean their own sinfulness, as if Jesus is saying, "Who are you to judge? You are more sinful than your neighbor."  But this is not logical. Would Jesus really be teaching us that if we somehow get rid of the sin in our life we would then be in a position to judge another? If the log is simply our own sinfulness, then the solution would be to get rid of our sin so we could judge others more effectively. This would go against the tenor of his teaching. So what is the log?
The log is not our sinfulness but the act of judging.  Judging others makes it impossible to help them. Even if the intention is good, the method is wrong. Judging is not the way to help someone with a problem. It blinds us from seeing a better way." (pp 192)

The author goes on to talk about the whole "pearls before swine' section that follows the plank in the Gospel of Matthew.  He explains, 
"When Jesus says we shouldn't give pearls to pigs, he isn't saying they are unworthy but that they can't digest pearls. Pigs won't eat pearls!  If a farmer did this for a few consecutive days, the pigs would go hungry and attack the farmer. While they can't eat pearls, they can eat humans! 
Just as pig can't digest pearls, people can't digest being judged or condemned.  It does not meet their need; it cannot be digested. Even if our judgment is sound, the approach is wrong. they will receive it just as the pigs received the pearls. They will go on the offensive. that is how judgment works. The judging person is not being compassionate and understanding, but condescending. And no one likes that or responds well to it." (pp 193)

He goes on to point out that while judging may be tempting, it is never successful long term.  

If we really want to help someone change, we have to be willing to come alongside and participate with them, to make sacrifices of our own time and energy, to pray for them and with them and let Love and Mercy have His way.

For the Bible says that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.  

Once again, --always-- Love wins!
 ...it's just that Sometimes We Forget!








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"Mercy really does triumph over Judgment ...it's just that sometimes we forget!" #Write31Days #TruthsWeKnow #Mercy @KarrileeA



You had to sort of expect this, yes? How could I write about how mercy triumphs over judgment and not include this song?  May it wash over you and stir up hope!



 Today is Day Fifteen of 31 Days of Truths We Know...! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

Oh... by the way...

DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers (Psst... that's YOU!) who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

10 comments :

  1. Love your post. It is so easy to get caught in the judgment trap especially when we take up an offense for others. This was a great way to start my support of fellow bloggers. Blessings.

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    1. Oh friend... in my life I have been an EXPERT at taking up an offense for others! His way is better... Mercy frees us all! So thankful this post spoke to you! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  2. Great points. I love the sound of this book too. I try not to judge, but easier said than done right. It is harmful though, not just to the other person, but to myself. I can not grow when I put myself on a pedestal of betterness. I know that is not a word, but I need to be humble and loving. I hope you will share this important discussion of James Bryan Smith on this week's Literacy Musing Mondays at : http://maryanderingcreatively.com/literacy-musing-mondays-importance-of-reading-for-writers/

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    1. Mary - I cannot recommend these books enough! I have read 2 of the 3 books by JBSmith in The Apprentice Series and loved both of them! Just waiting to get the third one because... you know... I have to pace myself with All. The. Books! (I did go and link up... thanks for the invite!)

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  3. Brilliant distinction between judging and accountability! I am going to be sharing THAT nugget.on my fb page. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Right? That came to me as I was writing it! LOL! I thought - wow... that is really good! (I can't really take credit for it! I didn't know it until it slipped out beneath my fingertips!)

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  4. THIS: "If we really want to help someone change, we have to be willing to come alongside and participate with them, to make sacrifices of our own time and energy, to pray for them and with them and let Love and Mercy have His way. For the Bible says that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.
    Once again, --always-- Love wins!" God's love always, always, always wins!!

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    1. Always, always. always... Love wins!

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  5. Ouch! Okay, this one stings a little. Especially for me today :( Thanks for speaking the truth though. You are absolutely right on track.

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    1. Oh friend! I know... I felt the sting myself! Thankful we are not alone... and that there is always Mercy!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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