Day 8 – Judgment that Falls Swift Like a Knife

Conviction is one of the most difficult and necessary parts of the Christian life. When God whispers to me, “Lydia, you need to work on this,” I instantly recoil, trying to hold onto my wounded pride, sure that that’s not actually a problem in my life.

But oh how it IS a problem in my life, and how I need the conviction of the Holy Spirit to work in my heart so that I can become more like Him. And today He says to me:

It’s time to soften your judgmental heart.

Conviction usually comes in many repeated ways … till you can’t ignore its gong anymore. Such is the case with being judgmental. On Sunday, our college pastor, Jerod Gilcher, spoke from Ephesians 4:1-2 which says,

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Silly little prideful me thinks, “No worries! I’ve got this.” And then he starts asking us these questions:

1) Are there some types of people over whom you feel superior?
2) Have you created a type of Christian caste system?
3) Do you feel like you are somehow more inherently special to God than others?
4) Are you constantly irritated by the lack of spiritual maturity in others?
5) Do you constantly hold unrealistic expectations for other people that does not take into consideration their fallenness?

Wow. A sucker punch straight to the core of my pride. And I realize that the running commentary – not even consciously in my mind, but unconsciously in my heart – is one of comparison, putting down of others, and raising myself higher in my own eyes.

What rotten filthiness.

I want to have the eyes of Jesus … to see someone beyond their sin and love them despite anything they might say or do.

I want to stop the raised eyebrows & the shocked expressions & the murmured comments.

I want to be the person who comes alongside and is broken with another over the sin that we all struggle with – and supports and helps and prays with them to the very end.

I want the mind of Christ my Savior.

I have such a long way to go. But that’s why prayer is of the utmost importance today … and so, I bow my knee …

Prayer Postures for Today:
– Begin with admitting your tendency to judge and not love.
– Today, any time a judgmental thought or word comes to mind about someone, stop and pray for them instead. You just never know what someone else is struggling with. What gives us the right to judge?
– Pray for the strength and grace to see others through the eyes of Jesus.

Papa, I’ll be the first at Your feet in confessing my judgmental heart. I pray that You would chisel away at it until only Your loving heart exists in its place. I know my tongue is a burning fire. Please put it out with the cleansing water of Your grace. Help me today to focus on loving You so that Your love can flow through me to others. Thank You, Papa.

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