Be gentle (2)
When someone upsets or disappoints us, God expects us to be gracious towards them instead of judgmental. The Bible says, ‘If someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted’ (Galatians 6:1 NIV). We might be tempted to become judgmental or to have a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. That’s the wrong response. ‘Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarrelling.’ Instead of criticising their faults, we’re supposed to help strengthen their faith. The moment we begin to judge someone else, we set ourselves up for Satan’s attack in our own areas of weakness. What’s your reaction to people when they make a mistake or mess up their lives? We might say things like, ‘I told you so,’ or ‘I could see it coming,’ or ‘It serves you right,’ or ‘How could you be such a fool?’ Jesus didn’t do that! His reaction to the woman caught committing adultery was full of compassion and sensitivity. He defended her publicly, then restored her privately. He was gracious, not judgmental. And we should work very hard at not being judgmental, because that’s the way Christ treats us. ‘Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God’ (Romans 15:7 NIV). When we stop and think about it, God puts up with a lot from us. And if He puts up with our inconsistencies and weaknesses, we can surely learn to put up with other people’s failings. Whenever we’re tempted to judge another person, we should pause and remember how much God has forgiven us for. The more we recognise God’s grace to us, the more gracious we’ll be to others.
As you go about your day, try to be aware of moments when you’re tempted to be judgmental. As soon as you realise, say a quick prayer asking God to help you swap a judgmental attitude for one that’s full of compassion and sensitivity.
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