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To Judge or Not to Judge

Matthew 7:1-5 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. NKJV

This is probably one of the most misused and misquoted scriptures of the entire Bible. In the past, I have used this scripture incorrectly many, many times. Nine times out of ten, this scripture is quoted by people when they are confronted by others regarding their sin issues or bad fruit that they are producing. This scripture is used in defense to someone declaring the Word of God regarding known situations. However, using that scripture to defend bad fruit or actions is totally incorrect. Proclaiming the righteousness of God or stating a fact is NOT judging someone. Jesus Christ stated that we would know a man by his fruit, so in essence; the fruit speaks for itself. Or should I say that it speaks the judgment itself.

When Jesus spoke the words of Matthew, He was referring to judging someone’s motives or heart. We do not know what it is in someone’s heart, and so it is not wise for us to pronounce judgments because we will most likely be wrong. Unless there is visible fruit and information is in fact known, what you are doing is judging instead of simply examining fruit. According to Steve Foss, author of Satan’s Dirty Little Secret, most of these judgments come from a place of insecurity or inferiority. I believe that this why Jesus said to get the plank out of our own eye before trying to remove the splinter from our brother’s eye. Unless we know all of the information, we have a plank in our eye and should keep silent. These incorrect judgments will tear down relationships and cause divisions. They are really just a form of gossip and they usually proclaim untruths about people, which is basically slander. They are an assassination of someone’s character.

So the purpose of me even writing this post is from a place of REPENTANCE. I have been guilty of judging people and situations because I did not have all of the facts. I drew conclusions about people and situations that were sometimes hurtful or just incorrect. Once I gained an understanding of judgment as defined by Jesus, I am now very conscious of this behavior and am striving to not judge without information. I shudder at the thought of how many people I have unfairly judged over the years. Even though there might have been some visible evidence or fruit of what I felt, there was a much bigger picture that I did not see until much time later. Had I withheld my judgments, I would have regarded and treated them better. Due to my own insecurities and feelings of inferiority, I would cast judgments from a place of hurt and often times I was completely wrong. Meanwhile, I allowed the enemy and his forces entry into my own mind and into the atmosphere to cause further damage. This sin is simply another gateway for demonic activity and for confusion to arise.

gavel-judge

But I want to go into another aspect of judgments that we make. Sometimes they are not necessarily evil in their intent. They refer to viewing people and situations not necessarily in a negative light, but simply a wrong one. We all know the saying in the world about what happens when we assume. I won’t repeat it. ☺ These assumptions directly and indirectly influence how we react to situations and people. The truth is in fact that situations are not always what they appear. Can you see how much damage can be done due to judgments? Can you see the amount of confusion that can be caused?

I can think of different situations over the past number of years where I thought I was being “overlooked” or “disrespected.” Whether it involved ministry or the job, I would assign motives and intents to people who made the decisions in situations where I seemingly got the short end of the stick. I would immediately jump to conclusions about them and conjure up all kinds of thoughts and ideas surrounding the situation that usually had no relevance whatsoever. Over time, the Lord has shown me that I overreacted in many of these situations. The bottom line was that I simply needed to grow up and get over my inferiority complex and rejection issues. There will be times when it will appear like you’re being treated unfairly and unjustly, but sometimes God is testing you to see if you can keep your composure and refrain from drawing unnecessary conclusions. It may sound a little harsh but we all should grow some thicker skin, which will help keep us from forming judgments.

The reality is that only God can judge the heart or someone’s motives because He sees directly into our inward parts. Only He knows the deep things of our hearts.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2013

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They Want to be Worshipped

II Timothy 3:1-3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, (NKJV)

The words I highlighted in this scripture are some of the very reasons why pure ministry hardly ever takes place in this country. The spirit of Hollywood has infected the modern day church and it is playing out in ways that appear to make a total mockery of anyone who professes to follow Jesus Christ.

So what am I talking about specifically? Well, we now have four reality shows that involve “Christians.” One involves a popular gospel duo and another new show now involves a family of gospel artists. I know that many folks think this is a good thing for Christianity and see this as a positive. But aren’t those of us who follow Christ supposed to be about advancing the Kingdom? Well, sadly neither of these shows reflects that in any kind of way. The gospel duo’s show seems to only reflect materialism, drama and lives that are ultimately self-centered. The other gospel family show is very comparable. Why do we need to see “celebrity gospel artists” parade around in expensive designer clothes just like the “A-listers” in the world? Their “acts of service” appear to be limited to that of showing up and profiling at charity events, and while they might donate some money; do we really believe that this is the work of pure ministry? All they do is show up to gospel music events and perform. What one would see on these shows is only a step or two above the FOOLISHNESS present on such shows as “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Love and Hip Hop,” and “Braxton Family Values.” So many gospel artists and ministries nowadays appear to clamor for attention and notoriety, while they are supposed to be sharing the good news. The spirit of Hollywood is seducing the body of Christ and taking people’s eyes off of the Father.

The other two reality shows don’t involve gospel artists, but supposedly take place in the “Christian community.” One show is about preachers’ daughters and their struggle to stay pure and holy. Sadly, this is nothing but another means for nonbelievers to continue mocking and scoffing at the faith. There is already a belief in the world that says that preacher’s kids are rebellious and wilder than other kids. Come on folks! We’re supposed to be set apart! What was the motive for these pastors to actually air their family business on TV? I think we all know the answer. $$Money$$. The other show is called “The Sisterhood” and it is about preacher’s wives. As I expected, it amounts to nothing more than a slightly cleaner version of “Basketball Wives.” The women on this show don’t model the character of the Proverbs 31 woman by any stretch of the imagination. Trust me, these ladies care more about getting their hair and nails done than ministering to the lost and broken.

I shutter at the possibility of future Christian reality shows that will continue to make a mockery of what is supposed to represent the TRUTH. So in mentioning these shows along with some other examples I will give, it all boils down to this one truth: THEY WANT TO BE WORSHIPPED.

That may sound a bit extreme to some of you, but I believe that is the truth that resides in the recesses of the hearts of many in the body of Christ. People need to be validated and need to be reassured of who they are because too many of us are not operating as true heirs of Christ. Our identity isn’t grounded enough in Him, which is why so many in the worship arts and ministry seem to seek notoriety. There is so much competition in the modern day church culture, it is no wonder that ministries don’t work together. Have you ever noticed how it seems like most of the major ministers always have their face on the front cover of most or all of the books they’ve written? Why is that? I believe it is because they unknowingly or even unconsciously become too big in their own eyes. There is just too much self-importance.

I also believe that it is becoming rare to experience pure ministry that would cause one to fall to the floor in true repentance. Where are the psalmists who can manifest anointing that brings visitations from the Lord? Where is the poet whom can speak words that tear into the core of your heart and bring that conviction that leads to change? Where are the ministers who actually can lay hands on someone and they be healed or delivered? These types of experiences won’t take place when there are impure motives behind the “ministry.” These manifestations will never occur when vessels are affirmed by being the center of attention. They will only occur when we desire that He and He alone is worshipped, not us. Becoming invisible and decreasing that He may increase is the only way we will see His glory.

Father I pray right now that You would purge the spirit of Hollywood that might be residing in the hidden areas of our hearts. Create is us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. May the blood of Jesus kill any desires within us to be worshipped and admired. May we learn to embrace humility and operate with pure motives. May we desire that You alone be glorified and that Your Kingdom be manifested in the earth. Help us to keep our hearts and minds on things that are eternal and not temporal. Prepare us for these last days so we are not distracted by the temptations of the world. May we be set apart for Your glory. Amen.

Nathan Allen Copyright© 2013

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Spirituality

 

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