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Judge Not… Lest You Miss the Gem – Part 2

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)

Luke chapter 19 tells the story of a tax collector named Zacchaeus. The Jews viewed all tax collectors as friends of the Roman Empire and therefore their enemies. They judged Zacchaeus to be a “sinner” and stayed out of his way. They may have been correct in their judgment, but Jesus did no such thing. Instead He took the time to have a meal with Zacchaeus and in doing so, He discovered the “gem” that was inside of him. Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus inspired him to give away half of his belongings to the poor and to pay back fourfold anyone he had cheated.

There may be times when our judgment of someone is correct. The wisdom of the world might say it’s best to stay away from certain people just like the Jews judged it best to stay away from tax collectors. But the wisdom of the world is not the wisdom of God. People are in desperate need to have an encounter with the living God. And with God’s Holy Spirit living inside you, you can bring people that encounter. Zacchaeus’ life was forever changed by his encounter with Jesus and it was all because Jesus chose to engage Zacchaeus instead of judge him. Let that be a lesson for all of us when we are tempted to judge.

God bless you,

Noree

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Noree Wegmeyer

Judge Not… Lest You Miss the Gem – Part 1

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)

When my mother-in-law recently came to visit, she brought with her about half a dozen old-looking, wrinkled oranges. They did not look pleasant. When she saw my reaction she laughed and told me she had had the exact same reaction when they were given to her. She warned me that the rind was thin, which made it tougher to peel, but if I made the effort to do so, an amazing burst of flavor awaited me. She was right. They were delicious! But one would have never guessed so from how they looked on the outside.

When I thought about this, it hit me that too often I make the same snap judgments about people. It might be because of the way they dress, their lack of hygienic care, the way I observe them interacting with others… there are numerous reasons I make surface-level judgments about others. But when I have taken the time to confess my judgment before the Lord, put it aside and instead chosen to interact with those I had just judged, I have often found a beautiful “gem” of a person inside.

I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to immediately convict you when you make a snap judgment about someone. And when you feel that conviction, let it be a reminder that maybe that is the person God is asking you to reach out to.

God bless you,

Noree

 

 

Photo Credit: Noree Wegmeyer

God won’t give you anything more than He can handle.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

    We’ve all heard the phrase, “God won’t give you anything more than you can handle.” Maybe we’ve even been told it’s in the Bible. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This little ‘gem’ gets passed around like a bad penny. It may be my least favorite saying in the English language!

When I’ve encountered difficult times in my life people have shared that little phrase in order to cheer me up or give me confidence that God wouldn’t possibly let me be so oppressed. I usually feel defeated when I hear it. It makes me feel like I’m failing, that I need to ‘bear up’ and ‘deal’ with whatever difficult or horrible thing God has chosen to let me experience. Weakness and failure are often mingled with my thoughts of grief. It makes me feel alone, that God is torturing me with a test to endure without His help.  The simple fact is that if I were able to handle the situation by myself, I wouldn’t need God!

Let’s look at some of the promises God actually gives us in the Bible: God will see our human weakness and meet us there; in the broken places, in the defeat, in the failures. In grief we all feel we’re not enduring well enough. That’s where God shows His power.  He knows we’re human, that’s no surprise to the God who made us. Godly living is about relying on Him even when we don’t understand or feel that we don’t have the strength to go on. He promises to love us, never leave us, and even take on our sorrows. The peace that God gives us often transcends understanding. That way, He gets the glory in restoring us to Himself.  In those hard places, remember God’s promises and ‘lean in’ to his strength.

If you’ve ever heard that phrase, “God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle,” Correct them! Tell them more accurately, “God doesn’t give us any more than He can handle.” In the words of Paul Tripp, “Don’t buy the false gospel of self-reliance. If you could make it without help, Jesus would not have needed to come.”

In Him,

Amy