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“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

One day Jesus was teaching His disciples and other followers about the Kingdom of God. In all of His teachings two main topics were always at the root of what He taught us. First of all, each of us, regardless of skin color, gender, or ethnic background is a creation of God. Since God created all of us, then we are all equal.

The second main thing that Jesus always taught was that life centered on relationship. Relationship with God; relationships with ourselves and relationships with others. Nothing in life is more important than these three key relationships. When these relationships are in harmony with each other the result is love, acceptance and forgiveness. However, when even one of these relationships is flawed, life takes a different turn. Rather than love, a judgmental attitude develops. Rather than acceptance, condemnation rears its ugly head. Forgiveness is replaced by bitterness, anger and revenge.

Jesus says, “Don’t judge others”. No one likes to be judged, yet it happens all the time. People judge you on the basis of your past,  your parents, your church attendance or lack of it, how you dress or speak, and the list goes on and on.

Who you are is not so much determined by how others see you but by how you see yourself. When we realize that we are children of God then what others say about us and to us shouldn’t affect us in a negative way. When others verbally attack us we can simply say (preferably to ourselves) “Sorry. What  you are saying about me is simply not true. I’m a child of the King. God made me the way I am, flaws and all. I’m important to Him and that is what really matters!”

The same attitude should be in us when it comes to looking at others. We may not like the way people act. We may be appalled at their past or present actions or language. We may disagree with their religious beliefs, or lack thereof. They may have different skin color, heritage, church affiliation or political stands. Even so, they ARE created by God. To ridicule, hate or judge others is really a statement about God. Our negative attitudes and actions towards others reveal an attitude that says, “God made a mistake when He made you.”

Don’t allow a judgmental spirit to cloud your view of others. Sometimes people will do things to you that will destroy your relationship with them. Ask for God to help you remain in a spirit of acceptance and forgiveness. Remember that forgiving others for their harmful actions doesn’t mean you have to trust them or restore the relationship. Forgiveness and non-judgmental attitudes free you to go on.

PRAYER: Holy God. I thank you that no matter what other people say about me, I am  your child. I confess to you here and now that I have hatred in my heart towards others and have a hard time forgiving them for the abuse they have caused. I hesitate to accept those who are different from me even though I know they are your creations. Reveal to me any harmful attitudes I have towards others. Forgive me for those feelings and empower me through your Holy Spirit to live free of a critical and judgmental attitude. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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