[Jesus said,] ‘The same rules you use to judge others will be used by God to judge you-but with even greater severity. (verse 24)
Read Mark 4:21-25
Growing up is marked by ongoing assessments of reading and maths, swimming and violin-playing, politeness and cooperation. And the judging continues. Employers evaluate worker performance. Congregations assess pastors for calls. Boys and girls measure one another up as prospective partners and parents.
It’s not hard to look at what someone is doing and judge them. All you need is a standard to measure them against – good or bad, pass or fail.
Jesus hits Pause when he says that the standard I use will be the one used to judge me. How do I want to be judged?
Quite simply, I want to be understood before any assessment is given. I want to be listened to carefully, I want people to make an effort to appreciate what I am thinking, to recognise my pain and fears and frustrations and confusions. I want to be known before I am judged.
I realise this may not be easy because I can be a very difficult person. Sometimes the areas of my life needing growth are bigger than the productive parts. I want those who would judge me to listen for the fragility beneath the bluster, the stupidity behind the lashing out.
Above all, I want to be judged with grace – as God judges me.
Crucified Lord, forgive my snap judgements of others. Give me the intention to understand others and to see them through your eyes. Amen
Devotion written by Geoff Burger in the Devotion book “Time Out … with Jesus”” (Australian Church Resources, 2013)
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