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    I Can’t Stand Judgmental Christians

    I used to think like this: Judgmental? Not me! I can’t stand people who judge others. The contradiction was right there in the statement, and somehow I was oblivious to it.

    Into His Image

    “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” This sentiment from Anne Lamott often comes back to me in situations of potential conflict. If I find myself assuming God feels exactly the same way I do about most situations, it’s safe to say my view of God is mixed with a good deal of myself! Only one Person has known the mind of God fully; we His followers always understand imperfectly (1 Corinthians 13:12).

    Am I More ‘Christian’ Than Her?

    It happens pretty often. Sometimes, it’s a passing judgment; other times, it’s a passing thought that I am more “Christian” than my peers. I don’t deny that I struggle with my own sins, but I would always think that, at the very least, I am better off than someone whose sins seem more apparent, more horrendous—more sinful.

    The Strictest Discipline

    Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off his right hand, but that “if your right hand causes you to sin” in your walk with Him, then it is better to “cut it off.” There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says that if it hinders you in following His precepts, then “cut it off.” The principle taught here is the strictest discipline or lesson that ever hit humankind.

    Beware of Criticizing Others

    Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding.

    The story of Jesus found in the book of Job

    Today on Discover the Word, we start the second week of a fascinating series titled, “Job and Jesus.” Join the group to find the story the whole Bible is telling—the story of Jesus—is found even in the ancient story of Job. Listen to Discover the Word today!

    Expect and Extend Mercy

    When I complained that a friend’s choices were leading her deeper into sin and how her actions affected me, the woman I prayed with weekly placed her hand over mine. “Let’s pray for all of us.”

    I frowned. “All of us?”

    “Yes,” she said. “Aren’t you the one who always says Jesus sets our standard of holiness, so we shouldn’t compare our sins to the sins of others?”

    “That truth hurts a little,” I said, “but you’re right. My judgmental attitude and spiritual pride are no better or worse than her sins.”

    “And by talking about your friend, we’re gossiping. So —-”

    “We’re sinning.” I…

    East Meets West

    When students from Southeast Asia met a teacher from North America, the visiting instructor learned a lesson. After giving his class their first multiple-choice test, he was surprised to find many questions left unanswered. While handing back the corrected papers, he suggested that, next time, instead of leaving answers blank they should take a guess. Surprised, one of the students raised their hand and asked, “What if I accidentally get the answer right? I would be implying that I knew the answer when I didn’t.” The student and teacher had a different perspective and practice.

    In the days of the New…

    Hurtful Words I Needed To Hear

    Every Wednesday, I meet with a team leader and my colleague Abigail* for lunch fellowship. Though it’s just the three of us, we thought to heed the call in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

    The Distraction of Contempt

    Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt —Psalm 123:3

    What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. “Take heed …

    Having a heart that first asks, and then listens

    What do you do when someone holds a radically different viewpoint than yours—and that “someone” is one of your children? Do you forcefully try to argue them out of it? Is that ever going to be effective? Well, today on Discover the Word, the group along with guest, author Patricia Raybon discuss the healing power […]

    No Comparison

    When we watch TV or engage in social media, we’re bombarded with images of individuals doing things we disagree with. Sometimes their actions are even illegal or immoral, and we may find ourselves thinking, I’d never do a thing like that! or, How can anyone even consider doing such a thing?

    Within a Stone’s Throw

    As a group of religious leaders herded an adulterous woman toward Jesus, they couldn’t know they were carrying her within a stone’s throw of grace. Their hope was to discredit Him. If He told them to let the woman go, they could claim He was breaking Mosaic law. But if He condemned her to death, the crowds following Him would have dismissed His words of mercy and grace.

    But Jesus turned the tables on the accusers. Scripture says that rather than answering them directly, He started writing on the ground. When the leaders continued to question Him, He invited any of…

    Ambassador of Love

    In my work as a chaplain, some people occasionally ask if I am willing to give them some additional spiritual help. While I’m happy to spend time with anyone who asks for help, I often find myself doing more learning than teaching. This was especially true when one painfully honest new Christian said to me with resignation, “I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to read the Bible. The more I read what God expects from me, the more I judge others who aren’t doing what it says.”

                      As he said this, I realized that I was at…

    Prejudice by Association

    The sound of her name made me recoil. I knew the strong testimony of the well-known speaker and had no justifiable reason to avoid her podcasts. My disgust had nothing to do with her or the worthy cause she represented. I’d been hurt by someone who idolized her, so my prejudice came because of her association with that individual.