Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture – “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” – James 2:13
“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
Insight: The Bible’s pretty clear that we need to be quick to judge ourselves and repent, but slow to judge others. One of the biggest problems in my own heart is a rush to judgement. I pray for help in this area often, but I so easily get caught up in the media led judgement frenzy that has enveloped our world. We judge before even knowing the facts. We judge before even knowing the person. We judge to make ourselves feel better, or to look better. This is all antithetical to what God calls us to be- more merciful and less judgmental. A much better approach is to lead into every situation from a place of mercy rather than judgement. James chapter 2: 13 states that “mercy triumphs over judgement.”
Many people who are turned off by Christianity or the Church state the number one reason is the hypocrisy of the people they have met. A judgmental person is certainly not one to attract someone into wanting to know more about Jesus Christ, who himself was the exact opposite of judgmental, but rather was full of grace and mercy. He always had time for the lowly, the despised, the so-called “sinners” of society that the Pharisees looked down upon, but whom Jesus always spent time with. Jesus’s mercy led to many wonderful stories of salvation throughout the Bible. Jesus offered mercy and forgiveness and grace to those people of low position, societal outcasts or who committed acts of immorality that people thought disqualified them from the hope of life changing redemption, and free from condemnation. In fact, Romans 8:1-2 points out that one of the greatest benefits we receive by accepting Christ into our life as Savior is to be free from the condemnation of the world: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
The Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 is a stunning revelation of the length that Jesus goes to offer mercy instead of judgement. Though she was a Samaritan, someone Jews were not even supposed to associate with, and who had been looking for love in all the wrong places, as evidenced by her 5 failed marriages, Jesus didn’t condemn her, rather he had mercy upon her and extended her an invitation to drink from the well of the living water, Himself, from which she would never be thirsty again. The same mercy is extended in John 8 with the adulterous woman. People wanted to put her to death for her sinful act, but Jesus offered mercy and left them wallowing in their own hypocrisy when he said “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 Can you imagine how foolish they all felt as they slowly walked away? Why am I so quick to judge others? Why are we as a whole so quick to want to cast judgement on others? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Is it a result of the divisive media pitting right vs. wrong on every issue? Jesus shows us a better way. Mercy indeed triumphs over judgement!