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ZMI Family Ministries International > Articles by: Noree Wegmeyer

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

Hope Through the Fire

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 
John 16:33 (NIV)

Christian song artist Mercy Me has written what is, in my opinion, one of the most relevant songs of our day and age. Within the song it says: “God when you choose to leave mountains unmovable, give me the strength to say it is well with my soul. I know You’re able and I know You can, save through the fire with Your mighty hand. But even if You don’t, my hope is You alone. I know the sorrow and I know the hurt would all go away if You just say the word, but even if You don’t, my hope is You alone.”

Even though God promises in His Word to work all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), He does not promise us that everything we experience in this life will be good. In fact, He promises just the opposite. He warns His disciples of the trouble they will face in this world (John 16:33). And if we’re honest, sometimes the circumstances of our lives are just plain awful: the diagnosis of a chronic or terminal illness of a loved one, the death of a child or spouse, the catastrophic event that leaves us reeling and having to start from square one… the list can go on and on. It can be so difficult knowing God is more than able to heal, fix and deliver, but for reasons unknown to us sometimes He chooses not to. When that happens, when we are standing in the “furnaces” of life, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, will we be able to say: We know God is able to save us, but even if He does not, we will continue to place our hope in Him and worship Him alone. (Daniel 3:16-18. Paraphrase mine)? I pray for you that during those times, you will feel His strength to be able to say just that.

Be blessed,

Noree

 

 

 

Photo Credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/easter-fire-3-1374889