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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

A friend of mine I’ll call John tells the story of how he had befriended a person who was really struggling with life. John spent hours listening to his new friend tell of her pain, encouraged her when she was feeling down, called her when she was sick and rejoiced with her when things were going well. In the process of building this friendship John told her of the weaknesses he had in order to help her see that she wasn’t the only one that struggled.

One day John found out that the young lady he was helping was telling everyone she knew about his ‘weaknesses’. John was hurt, embarrassed and frustrated by the betrayal and told me he was ‘done helping people.’

As John was sharing his hurt with me I thought of the verse in Galatians where Paul tells us to ‘never grow weary in doing good.’ Each of us takes a risk when we reach out to those around us who are in need. We put ourselves in risk of being hurt ourselves. We put ourselves in danger of falling into sin.

Another risk we take in reaching out to other people is that our motives can be misunderstood. Try as we might to be honest and reach out to others, they may reject our attempts to help or even accuse us of meddling. It seems that those of us in ministry (not JUST pastors) are the most vulnerable to growing weary from helping others.

There always seems to be opposition to the best plans for helping others. It takes time away from our own lives, people are often ungrateful or demanding, some just want to take advantage of our generosity for their own selfish means. It’s no wonder we become disheartened. But Paul exhorts us not to give up doing good but to persevere in spite of how we are treated.

Sometimes there are people we come across who are never satisfied with what we do. We wear our hair wrong, wear the wrong clothes, go to the wrong church, like the wrong music…and the list goes on and on. There is much truth to the saying you can please some people some of the time but you can’t please all the people all the time. We can add to that the reality that there are some people we will never please ANY of the time.

The lesson we as Christ followers must realize is that our reward for doing good won’t necessarily come while we are on earth. It’s a hard lesson to learn but we may be totally unappreciated for what we do until we get to heaven. But don’t get tired. Don’t give up. God sees your efforts. He knows your heart. Even if people don’t understand, your Heavenly Father does understand.

When you feel unappreciated or taken advantage of, or when you can’t seem to please some people, do your deeds as though you were doing them for Jesus. He not only will appreciate you, He and the angels applaud your efforts!

PRAYER: Father, I’m tired of the people around me who never seem satisfied with my efforts. I’m tired of being taken advantage of and betrayed by those who say they are my friends. I’m appalled at the fact that many of the people who have hurt me the worst claim to be followers of you. I ask that you would heal me of the wounds others have placed on me when I’ve only tried to help them. Empower me to continue to work for the good of those around me for Your sake. I ask this in your Holy name, Amen.


Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Throughout history people have given their lives for freedom. Those who have been in prison or have been prisoners of war will tell you that the worst part of imprisonment was having your freedom ripped from you. Being behind bars can be demeaning, lonely and extremely painful physically as well as emotionally, but those bars are not nearly as harsh as the bars each of us are behind on a daily basis.

For every person behind the physical bars of prison there are thousands who we see on the street that are imprisoned by invisible bars, sometimes of their own choosing. Bars of anger over past hurts and abuse. Bars of the past that refuse to let us see the outside world of second chances and new beginnings. Bars of fear over the future and death. Bars of resentment towards God and others who have hurt us. Bars of want and desire driven by lustful passion for things we hope will satisfy (but rarely do). Bars that keep us from forgiving ourselves or others for past decisions. Bars of religious tradition and dogma the hinder the Holy Spirit from working freely in your life.

As a Christ-follower you don’t need to be in prison any longer. Many have given their lives to be free. Jesus already died for your freedom. Choose to follow Him. Talk to Him about the prison you are in. Be honest about how you feel about God, yourself and others. Learn from Him through His word and others who have chosen to be free in Him.

Jesus came to remove the anger, to remove the hate and disappointment, to calm your fears and fill the void of loneliness and despair in your lives. Religion won’t do that. New relationships won’t last. Having all the newest toys and gadgets can’t make you happy. Only a life sold out to following Jesus can. Many will tell you religion is too restrictive. Jesus isn’t religion. Jesus is relationship. Full, vibrant, free relationship built on love, forgiveness and second chances.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. You know better than I the prison walls I’ve built for myself. Walls of anger and guilt and despair and loneliness. I desperately seek freedom from things in life that seem to make my prison walls thicker and stronger. You say you came to grant me freedom. I ask that you would show me this freedom today. Help me to grow in relationship with you so that I can be free as you promised. Amen.


Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

It isn’t good for us to be alone. Even at creation God saw that all was good except for the fact that man was alone. He needed a companion that he could share the good and the bad with. So God created woman to stand at his side as his equal partner in life.

Today the one thing each of us still craves is relationship. We want to belong to something, to someone. We seek a cause that we can believe in and pursue because it makes us feel important. Our self worth gives us identity. It could be through a church, a relationship, a job anything that makes us feel worthy.

Jesus tells us we are to be the salt of the earth. For salt to be useful it must be in contact with the item to be salted. It intermingles, adds flavor and preserves. But salt is always salt. It doesn’t take on the quality of the item salted but enhances the positive aspects of the item salted.

Jesus also warns that salt can lose its ‘saltiness’ and become useless. It breaks down and loses its identity. Rather than maintaining its saltiness it takes on the attributes of the substance surrounding it. The salt no longer enhances the flavor or preserves as it once did.

As Christ-followers we need to be careful when we are in the world. It is too easy to get drawn into the negative attitudes about other people or those who are different than us. In an effort to reach out to those struggling with sin it seems right to downplay the sin in an effort to win the sinner.

Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1 that when we catch someone in sin we are to restore them gently, but the second part of that verse is a warning. We ourselves are in danger of sinning when we put ourselves in situations where temptations to judge, have a critical spirit or allowing pride to overtake us.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church he warned them that constant affiliation with those who were negative, judgmental or lax in their spiritual drive could pull us down. Are we to avoid such people? NO! We need to temper the negative with a strong drive to draw close to Jesus through our personal Bible Study and Prayer and by building a wall of positive influence around us made up of small group and corporate worship and prayer.

When we allow negative thoughts and negative attitudes to influence the way we act or think it robs us of our self esteem, our self identity and the dreams we have. Jesus’ ways are built on love and compassion not on critical spirits and verbal and emotional attacks. As a Christ-follower we are called to built up not tear down, to encourage not berate, to seek the positive in every situation and not dwell on the negative.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I get so frustrated by seeing the way in which people abuse each other and seem to take advantage of your love and Forgiveness. To make matters worse I have found my own attitude has become negative and angry with people I disagree with. As a result I am guilty of the very thing that I detest. Forgive me for my judgmental attitude, my critical spirit and my hatred. Empower me with your Spirit to love unconditionally and forgive freely. Help to continue to build a close relationship with you and other believers so that I can live in the freedom you have given me and accomplish all you have in store for my life. Amen.


“The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”  Matthew 6:22-23

When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror who do you see? The answer to that question will likely determine how the rest of your day goes. If you see a loser in the mirror you will likely treat others in an unloving manner. If you see a lonely person you will likely feel shunned and avoided in all your relationships and contacts with people throughout the day. The person you see in the mirror is likely the person you will become if you let it happen.

Jesus said our eyes are like a lamp. They illuminate our entire being. Who I am is not based on what I do or my circumstances or my past. As a Christ-follower, who I am depends entirely on who Jesus is and what He has done for me. The Bible tells us over and over again that we are God’s children and that he has given each of us gifts to accomplish everything the Father intends for us to accomplish.

The Bible is full of stories of people that had skeletons in their closets, endured tragedy or suffered failure. But God used them in mighty ways. We, as His church, have all been given many gifts. Some gifts are visible and receive lots of attention. Some gifts are done in the background and gain little recognition. But ALL parts of the body are important in order to be healthy.

Jesus says we are the light of the world. Light brings warmth, guidance, and security (among other things) to everything it touches. But sometimes we get drug down by poor choices, broken relationships and a variety of other things in life. We get attacked by circumstances.

Don’t let life circumstances keep you from being all God wants you to be. Charles Swindoll says: The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.  

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. Thank you that you have given me everything I need to accomplish the great things you have for me. Forgive me for letting the circumstances of my life keep me from being all you want me to be. Help me to be content with the gifts you’ve given me and to use them to shed your light on those around me and when I look in the mirror help me see me as you do. Amen


Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

 “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”  Sven Goran Eriksson

 No one likes to fail. There isn’t one of us that begins our daily adventure planning to make a mess of our lives or the lives of others. Still, no matter how much we try to ‘get life right’ obstacles get in the way. It could be physical illness, or relational distress in the family or on the job, or any number of things that keep us from reaching our goals or becoming the person we want to be.

 King Dave wrote, “BE STRONG! BE COURAGEOUS! Your hope doesn’t rest in your ability to succeed. It comes from the hope we have in the Lord.” Success doesn’t come from your strength but from Jesus working in us and through us.

David knew what he was talking about. He likely wrote this Psalm shortly after he was exposed for having an affair and arranging for the murder of his lovers husband! Not something anyone would want to boast of, to be sure. Yet David experienced God’s forgiveness and went on to bring his nation to a position of power and be the mightiest King Israel had ever known. Not bad for a shepherd boy from up in the hills! He didn’t let his failure keep him from being all that he could be.

Don’t let fear of failure pull you down! Don’t let the failures of your past keep you from being the person you want to be or doing the things you want to do. Your hope doesn’t lie in your ability to succeed but in your willingness to let Christ work in you.

Prayer: Dear Jesus. Thank you for loving me even though I’ve made a mess of my life. Forgive me for my bad choices and for being afraid to press on. Help me to be courageous in the fight to be all you made me to be. Keep me from discouragement. In your name I pray, Amen.

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