Watch Your Attitude

Posted by Karah

img_1251Pause

Ponder this question: Do others see me as being more loving or more judgmental? Invite God to help you examine your heart as you read today’s Scripture.

Jesus addressed judgmental attitudes toward others. Well aware of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy, Jesus didn’t want His followers to follow their example. Read Matthew 7:1-6 in your Bible.

“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” —Matthew 7:4-5

Dig deeper with these questions:

-What is the difference between being judgmental and judging? Explain.

-Jesus wasn’t saying that His disciples would never have to make moral judgments or exercise discernment, but that they shouldn’t be characterized by an overly critical and fault-finding attitude. Why is it so easy to be critical or find faults?

-Jesus challenged His followers to first examine their own lives and deal with their own sin, recognizing that they were no better than anyone else. Why is that an important part of living out your faith? Explain.

Respond

-It’s easy to go through life pointing out others’ faults, but never dealing with the sin in our own lives. Today, ask God to examine your life and heart and reveal any sin that you need to confess. Repent today.

-Who are the people in your life you most often find yourself being judgmental or critical of? Write their names in your journal and pray over each relationship. Ask God to remind you of the grace He has shown you and pray that He would change your heart toward those people.

-Maybe there is someone in your life who is incredibly critical of you and always ready to point out your flaws and sins. Instead of getting angry, pray that God would empower you to love that person and respond in a way that gives all the glory and attention to Him.

-For further study, on how to respond to another Christian struggling with sin, read Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1-4.

Behind the Story

While a harsh, critical attitude should not characterize believers, we should practice discernment. Dogs and pigs (v. 6) were both considered unclean animals in the Jewish culture and probably refer to people who were openly resistant to or active enemies of the gospel message. According to Stuart Weber, “Jesus was teaching his people to use discernment when sharing the truth with others. To persist in sharing with a resistant person wastes time and energy. It can also destroy a relationship that might prove fruitful later.”(1)

The Point

Followers of Christ are not to be characterized by judgmental attitudes or critical spirits.

 

(1)Stuart Weber, Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew, ed. Max Anders, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Matthew 7–The King Speaks His Heart (Part III)”.

 


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