The Undeviating Test

I have been working some very strange hours lately and also have been helping my wife paint some rooms in our house to get ready for family this Thanksgiving. I sit here at 9:50pm on Wednesday night with paint spots all over my hands. I praise the Lord and thank Him from the depths of my heart that I have just finished rolling my last wall. I am very tired.

Right at this moment my wife is retouching with a small brush and mini roller the walls I just rolled. She is doing this over spots that don’t meet her very high standards. She is judging my work to not be perfect. Of course, I’m not a professional painter nor do I claim to be very good at it at all. Also, I don’t mind one bit that she is doing that for I want it to look good too.

If we apply this sort of “judging” in our relationships what will happen? I contend that if a believer becomes highly judgmental in his or her relationships it is the fruit of pride. The humble believer will not do this to the level of trying to force others to be “perfect.” In fact, I have found that when I find myself feeling resentment against how others behave I will usually find myself doing some self-examination. Then I discover that I am just a guilty of the same behavior. I believe that The Holy Spirit imparts that realization to me through my conscience. What is vital is that we repent of this ASAP. Why? The longer that we remain in this “judgmental” mode the longer we are not Spirit-filled.

Below is a piece by Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest about Jesus’ command to all of us to Judge Not! – Mike Ratliff

by Oswald Chambers

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2

This statement is not a haphazard guess, it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give, it is measured to you again. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus says that the basis of life is retribution – “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the defects in others, remember that will be exactly the measure given to you. Life serves back in the coin you pay. This law works from God’s throne downwards (cf. Psalm 18:25-26).

Romans 2 applies it in a still more definite way, and says that the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act, He looks at the possibility. We do not believe the statements of the Bible to begin with. For instance, do we believe this statement, that the things we criticize in others we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts. The great characteristic of a saint is humility – Yes, all those things and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of God, therefore I have no right to judge.

Jesus says – “Judge not, that ye be not judged” if you do judge, it will be measured to you exactly as you have judged. Who of us would dare to stand before God and say – “My God, judge me as I have judged my fellow men?” We have judged our fellow men as sinners; if God should judge us like that we would be in hell. God judges us through the marvellous Atonement of Jesus Christ.

For further reading on this vital topic I suggest my Judge Not! series.

10 thoughts on “The Undeviating Test

  1. I highly recommend your Judge Not series! We should always get the log out of our own eye before removing the speck in another’s eye. That’s humbling. It also gives us the grace we need in correcting others. When we are in error we would want grace extended to us so we should extend grace to others. Years ago I studied the letters to the churches. They are a very good example of how to correct others if you must. Seeing how Christ Jesus corrected and removing the log in our own eye and being humble in recognizing that we are guilty of the same infraction (it is in our heart even if we did not do it!) will keep us from being prideful know-it-alls. And knowing the difference between a person stumbling and a person who practices sin is key. When our brother stumbles, we need to be of help in restoring them. But when a person practices sin then we must correct them. If they are corrected then we can do our utmost in restoring them. If they don’t receive correction then leave the matter in the Lord’s hands (hopefully it was in His hands before correcting). Pray for them and help them when you can. Might I caution not to help others to stay in their sin. Both my husband’s brother and mine are alcoholics and won’t work, so we had to learn that not helping them financially and with a roof over their head was helping them. That was hard to do at first since we don’t like to see them suffering, but it was draining us financially and it did no good for them to get a job and stop their drinking. Even when helping others we need to be led of the Spirit!

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  2. Just today, as I was reading in Timothy . I realized I did something very recently that I tell others not to do. I helped fabricate a story to get my daughter out of her latest trouble. I feel so rotten today and I emailed her and
    told her how very wrong I was. Brothers and sisters, I lied. Please forgive me. 😦 God, please go ahead and discipline me.

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  3. Peter comes to mind today when he denied Jesus.I am brokenhearted. Thank You Mike for posting this. It got me thinking that I don’t judge others. God showed me I did.

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  4. Deb, God uses our brokeness about our sin to do a great work in us. That dose not nor should not alleviate our pain, but you are in a good place here. After all, God uses the bold, broken beleiver not the prideful.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  5. We should always get the log out of our own eye before removing the speck in another’s eye.

    Amen, Sherry C. And the interesting thing is that the more we are transformed, the larger our own logs look as we behold the perfection of Christ. So as we walk in the Spirit, we are not concerned with the specks in the eyes of those around us.

    And when my behavior says that I can criticize you because I have made myself log-free, you know that I am in a marathon flesh-walk.

    Good post and good comments.

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  6. BOY is this true! We must correct sin, but we must be careful about trying to change others to conform to OUR image! I have a friend (we recently reconciled) who criticized everything about me personality-wise – as an example, I’m very happy to stay at home with my family most of the time…she’s happier out and about all the time – finally I got her to see it was not her job to judge me based on her opinions and tastes, but only if I stepped out of line and into sin. Funny thing (not so funny at the time), I later found out I was guilty of the same thing with judging a brother in the Lord. I hurt him a lot and I was completely out of line in my criticisms. I saw them as “trying to help.” Lord, help us see our error! It’s scary how we can be in the thick of it and only see someone else’s guilt!
    God bless and great article!

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  7. Great point, dec! I wonder how much we would criticize if we first rehearsed the criticism as if we were the one needing the correction? Perhaps we might think differently about it. I try not to nitpick on someone’s walk with the Lord. But if someone is into a heretical belief, then I have to say something. I say it once and maybe twice, but after that I feel it isn’t doing any good so I don’t nag. The Lord knows and will send others or whatever is needed to turn them around. And as they say, there is a reason for having two ears and one mouth! I try to listen more than speak. I am a work in progress.

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  8. Philippians 1:7
    “…for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.”

    Right, Sherry. We defend the gospel, not ourselves.

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