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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rick Warren » Rick Warren - A Faith That Keeps Me From Playing God in the Lives of Others

Rick Warren - A Faith That Keeps Me From Playing God in the Lives of Others

Rick Warren - A Faith That Keeps Me From Playing God in the Lives of Others
TOPICS: Faith, A Faith That Works When Life Doesn’t

Hello everybody. I'm Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, author of "The purpose driven life" and teacher for the Daily Hope Broadcast. I wanna thank you for tuning into this special series on principles for living through a pandemic. You know, we've been working our way through the book of James and the Bible, and I've called this series of faith works when life doesn't. So far, we've covered a lot of ground. Now this is the 19th message in this series. Now, remember the book of James is about having the kind of faith that works when life doesn't. And he was writing to people who were under major stress at that time. So it applies to us as we are dealing with COVID-19.

Now, when the pandemic started and I began this series, I told you that it's the job of medical experts to help you avoid getting the COVID-19 viral disease. But it is my job as a pastor to help you cope with the emotional dis ease of this pandemic. It's my job to help you deal with the stress that this pandemic is creating in your personal life and in your finances and in your relationships and in your work or school and your family life, all of the things that are stressing you out because of the changes. This last week, we heard that we hit the highest number of deaths in orange County, where I'm taping this right now. And fortunately, the book of James has a lot to say about these very practical areas of your life.

Now, I thought this week, that since we're about two thirds through this series of studies, I just pause and remind you of what we've already covered. So if you missed any of it, you can go back and listen or watch these previous messages. Now, every message dealt with a different emotional problem. If you're feeling upset by this pandemic, you need to listen to the very first message in the series. It's called a faith that walks through the Valley of virus. If you're struggling with worry, you need to go to the second message in this series, a faith that isn't troubled by troubles.

If you feel indecisive, you're having a hard time making a decision because the future is cloudy. Checkout the message of faith that makes tough choices easier. If you feel overwhelmed or stuck in some old patterns, I urge you to listen to the fourth message in this series, a faith that overcomes bad habits. Now, of course, we've all had losses, we've missed events and that we wanted to go to. And if you're grieving about something you've lost, check out the fifth message in this series, a faith that expects a resurrection, if you're grieving. And if you feel like you're just drifting through this COVID-19 crisis, listen to the message, a faith that anchors me in storms.

Now, James is very, very practical. In the first part of the past of the book, he deals with personal stress. Like have you been more irritable lately, short tempered, check out the seventh message called, a faith that stays calm in a crisis. And if you're feeling depleted and you're worn out and out of energy, check out both part one and part two, of a faith that leads to emotional health. If you wanna know how to treat other people during the pandemic, you now wanna check out message number 10, a faith that shows respect to everyone and message number 11, a faith that loves my neighbor as myself. Now, if you need faith to strengthen yourself, when you're getting more bad news every day, you need to watch your listen to the message, real faith versus fake faith.

Now the first part of the book deals with these personal stresses, but in the middle of the book of James, he moves to advice about interpersonal stress and he starts talking about how to improve our relationships, even in stressful times, that increased conflict. And so we didn't have done a series, a message on relationships. Message 13 was called a faith that plants seeds of peace when you're having trouble in your family or in your work, whatever. Message 14 was called a faith that deescalates conflict and message 15, a faith that handles delays patiently. And then the next message was called a faith that helps me filter what I say, 'cause our mouths get us in trouble when we get under stress and we say the wrong things. And the following message after that was a faith that makes me more merciful.

Finally, last week's message was called, a faith that keeps me hopeful when I feel like giving up. So I wanna thank you for joining me in this series. And if you missed any of these messages that I just mentioned, you can watch the videos online at or you can listen to the audios online at Daily Hope, which is at Now, we're gonna continue studying how to improve relationships, even in the middle of difficult times, because when we're tired, when we're fatigued, when we're under longterm stress, it often brings out the worst in us and we can become irritable, we can become touchy, rude, demanding, judgmental of others.

And that's why James comes back a second time to deal with the issue of not judging others. And I'm calling this message today. A faith that keeps me from playing God in the lives of others. A faith that keeps me from playing God in the lives of others. And our text for today is James 4:11-12 Let me read it to you. "Brothers and sisters, never say bad things about each other". Anytime you speak against fellow believers or you judge and you bad mouth them, you judge and condemn God's law. And when you judge God's law, you aren't keeping it yourself. Instead, you set yourself up, you set yourself up as the judge. Remember, God is the only true law giver and judge and He alone has the authority to save or destroy. So then who are you and what gives you the right to pass judgment on others? Well, that's a pretty straightforward passage. And we're just gonna take those two verses and look at the implications today.

What I wanna do today is answer three important questions. Number one, why are we so quick to judge other people? Why do we do that? Number two, why should I not be judgmental of others? Why should I not judge others? And number three, this is the important one that I wanna get to, how can I learn to be less judgmental? All right. So let's get into this study, James chapter four. First, why are we so quick to judge others? Well, in that passage that I just read, James says there are two reasons why we tend to be judgmental of others. And the first one is guilt, our own guilt. Write this down. We want to excuse our own failures. We want to excuse our own failures. When Adam, who was the first man who sinned, he did two things. He excused his own sin and he accused Eve of being the cause of his sin. And ever since that time, it's been human nature to accuse and excuse, accuse and excuse. We make excuses for our own behavior and we accuse others of something worse.

Now that doesn't work, but that's where judgemental comes from. First, when we feel guilty. Romans 2:3, I love this in the message. In the NIV, it says, "When you a mere human passed judgment on others, do you think that by pointing your finger at others, you will distract God from seeing all your misdoings and keep Him from judging you"? He said, what are you trying to do? Just distract God by judging other people. You know, anytime you hear a leader or a politician or anybody else condemning or judging the attitudes or the behaviors of other people, you can be sure they're hiding things they don't want judged. It's a diversion. It's coverup.

They're trying to take all the attention off their own obvious faults that they feel guilty about, but it doesn't work. It doesn't work for two reasons. First God, doesn't grade on a curve. He doesn't compare us to each other. Jesus is the standard of perfection. So God doesn't grade on a curve. He doesn't say, well, "You did better than that person". Second, it's like the old child's game, that when you point a finger at someone, you still have three fingers pointing back at yourself. After doing years of counseling of other people, I've learned that a lot of people who think they have a clear conscience, really just have a poor memory. And so we judge other people cause we wanna get the guilt off of us and we will wanna distract. And we want people to think about other people, not our problems.

The second reason we are quick to judge is pride, pride. And write this down. We want to feel superior to other people. It makes me feel better, I think about myself, if I could put somebody else down or I can point out a sin that they have that I don't. You need to be sure that whenever you see a person who's always criticizing, they're always judging, they're always trash-talking, you can be sure they feel very insecure and they try to puff themselves up by putting other people down. People who are secure in their own identity, they don't need to bad mouth other people to feel better about themselves. So guilt causes us to judge others and pride causes us to judge others.

Now the worst form of pride is religious pride, spiritual pride. The Bible calls this, the sin of self righteousness. You see real Christlike faith, makes you more humble, it makes you more gentle, but self righteous faith makes you more arrogant and more stubborn and more critical and more judgmental. And you know people like that. And you know you've been guilty of it yourself. And Job's friends in the book of Job were guilty of judging Job's situation incorrectly because they just wanted to feel better about themselves. Job 19:5 says this, Job says, talking to his friends, "You are trying to make yourselves look better than me by using my disgrace, using the problems in my life as an argument against me". He said, "You know what, it's not just guilt, it's pride. And you wanna make yourself look better so you're judging me".

And by the way, this is why people gossip, okay? Because they wanna look, feel better than other people. It's why they read gossip magazines. That's why they watch shows like TMZ and they get a perverse pleasure in reading about the downfall or the peccadilloes or the problems of other people, 'cause they think it makes them feel that they're better. And God condemns all of that gossip. In fact, God condemns gossip many, many, many, many times in the Bible. Gossipers are both prideful and insecure. By the way, you're going to be certain that people who got it up to you, are also gossiping about you, guaranteed. If they gossip to you, they're gossiping about you. So you should not listen to gossip, it's stolen goods. So these are the reasons, guilt and pride, why we tend to be judgmental of others. Why should I not judge others?

Well, James in chapter four points out three reasons. And these two verses. First he says judging others is unloving. It's unloving. You, you can't love somebody and judge them at the same time. It's the opposite. Judging is the opposite of Jesus' great commandment, which James calls the Royal law. The great commandment is the Royal law. Love your neighbor as yourself. You can't do that. You can't act loving towards somebody while you're judging them at the same time. Remember a couple of weeks ago, we covered chapter two, verse eight, where James says the Royal law found in scripture is love your neighbor as yourself. And he says, if you obey this law, you do the right thing. You're doing the right thing.

So always the right thing to love your neighbors yourself. But now a couple of chapters later in chapter four, he adds these words, James 4:11, "Any time you speak against fellow believers, or you judge, you bad mouth them, you judge and condemn God's law". What law, the Royal law: love your neighbors yourself. He says, "You're breaking the great commandment every time you judge". You know, I once read a story one time about a woman who told her pastor, "Pastor, I have the gift of criticism". Now, of course that's not a spiritual gift in the Bible. So the pastor said, "Well, that is one talent you should bury". Go bury that gift, the gift of criticism.

So judging others is unloving. The second thing that James says is that judging others is God job, not mine. It's God's job, not mine. And he points this out in the next verse, verse 12. Here's what he says. "Remember, God is the only true law giver and judge". That word law giver, I think has only used five times in the Bible, four times the old Testament and this one time in the new Testament. God is the only true law giver and judge. He alone has the authority to save or destroy. So then James says, "So then who are you? And what gives you the right to pass judge on others"? Now, I want you to write this down because this is the whole message in the sentence. Anytime I judge other people, I'm playing God, I'm playing God. You know, my family likes to play games. And at every holiday they break out all the board games and the card games and they play.

Let me tell you one game you should never play, playing God. Anytime I judge others, he says, there's only one judge, there's only one law giver, God. It says, let God be God, God is God and you're not. And he says, don't anytime I'm judging others, I'm playing God. Paul says the same thing in Romans 14. Look at this verse, Romans 14:4. Who are you to judge somebody else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls and he will stand for the Lord is able to make him stand. So if I look at you and I judge you, God says, they're not your servant, Rick. They're my servant. They're the Lord, servants. I will judge them, not you. So he says, judging others is unloving. But he says, judging others is God's job, not mine.

And then the third thing James says is this judging others is unchristian. You call yourself a Christian? Well, Christians ought to be like Christ. Now, remember James is writing to Christian believers. And he says in that verse, this verse on judgmentalism, "My brothers and sisters," he calls them my brothers and sisters. Christians are supposed to be like Christ. Well, we can't be like Jesus when we're judging others, because John 3:17 says this, "God did not send His son into the world to judge. God did not send His son into the world to judge the world guilty but to save the world through Him". If you wanna be like Jesus, stop judging the world and start trying to save the world by pointing them to Jesus Christ. So it's unloving, it's God's job. And he says, it's unchristian. You can't be like Christ. Every time I'm judging somebody, I'm not being like Christ.

In fact, the Bible says, "Satan is the accuser of the brother". He's called the accuser of believers, that's his name. He is the source of all damning accusations because in Christ, there is no condemnation. So Satan is the source of all damning accusations. And he accuses you all the time. Now, when you start accusing other believers, you're just doing Satan's job for him. Really, is that what you wanna do? He's the accuser. Satan says, thank you very much. Go ahead and accuse that other believer, go accuse that other church, whatever. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is we condemn the whole life and the whole personality of somebody just for one small action that we have been disapproving of and we generalize and we categorize people too quickly.

And we see one thing over here that we don't like and when then we write them off as foolish. It doesn't work. That is unchristian. Now we get to the point of what I really want to deal with. And that is this, how can I learn to be less judgmental? Particularly during this COVID-19 when everybody's under stress, everybody's tired, everybody's at the end of their rope. You tend to be, when you're not feeling that good, when you're tired, when things aren't going the way you want, you tend to start being judgmental, You've probably caught yourself doing that over the last months. Let me suggest to you seven things from God's word to remember, if you will remember these seven things, these will help you break the habit of being so judgmental of other people, okay?

So remember these seven things from God's word. Number one, if I wanna be less judgmental, if I wanna be more merciful, I want to not break the Royal law of love your neighbor as yourself, number one, remember I'm not the standard. That will help you a whole lot. Remember, I'm not the standard but when I set myself up as a standard, then I get judgmental. 2 Corinthians 10, 12 in today's English version says this, "We should never dare to classify or compare ourselves like those who rate themselves so highly. How foolish they are. They make up their own standards to measure themselves by. And they judge themselves by their own standard". You're not the standard of perfection and I'm not either. And yet when we judge we're really using ourselves as the standard.

Remember, I'm not the standard. Number two, remember when you get ready to judge somebody, I don't know the whole story. I don't know the whole story. I don't know the hurts, I don't know the crisis, I don't know the limitations, I don't know all of the background. I'm just seeing the behavior. I'm looking at how far they need to come rather than how far they've already come. Big difference. Don't look at where people need to go, look at how far they've come. Proverbs 18: 13 Living Bible says this, "It is shameful and stupid to decide before knowing the facts". Get the whole story. Get the whole story. John 7:24, Jesus said this, "Stop judging by appearances". 'Cause when you look at the appearance, you look at that where baby, you don't know the whole story.

So I don't know, I don't have all the facts and I'm not the standard by which the world gets judged. Number three, here's the third thing to remember. Remember, I never, listen, I never know anyone's motivation. Anytime you judge somebody's motivation, that's just dumb. Why? Because you don't know your own motivation much of the time. So much of the time, I can't even understand why I do what I do. We don't know why we do what we do so much of the time. So if you can't figure out your own motivation half the time, what makes you think that you can judge the motivation of others? You don't know anybody's motivation. That's just nonsense.

1 Corinthians 2:11 is another reason we shouldn't judge. He says this, no one can really know what anyone else is thinking or what he is really like, except that person himself, okay. So I should not judge 'cause there's no way I can know your motivation, there's no way you can know mine. No one really knows what somebody else is thinking or what they're really like except that person himself. That's what God says. You calling God a liar? And because that's true, the Bible also says, in 1 Corinthians 4:5, therefore judge no one.

Look at that, circle it, if you're taking notes. Judge no one before the appointed time. What's the appointed time, when Christ comes back. He says, wait, till the Lord returns. That's when everything's gonna get judged. It says, "He, God, will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and He will we expose the motives of men's hearts". God will expose all my motivations, all your motivations at that point. And at that time, each will receive the right praise from God. You can do the right thing and be doing it for the wrong motivation. You can be doing the right thing in the wrong way. He says, at that time you will receive the right praise from God, depending on the fact that God knows my motivation. God knows your motivation, but nobody else does. So remember, you don't know all the facts and you don't know all the motives, so don't judge.

Number four, here's the fourth thing to remember help you be less judgmental. Remember, I have blind spots that I can't see. Now, we all have blind spots in our lives. And the fact that they're called blind spots means I can't see 'em. Okay, you can see my blind spots, but I can't. I can see your blind spots, but you can't. Okay, we can't see your own blind spots. That's why we need each other. And the fourth reason to not be judgmental, to not be so quick to judge is remember I have blind spots I can't see. Jesus talked about this in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew chapter seven, which is in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount verses three to five, Jesus says this, "Why are you so concerned about a speck of sawdust in somebody else's eye, when you have a huge log in your own eyes".

Now let me just stop here for a minute. This is actually Hebrew humor. People don't realize that the Sermon on the Mount has a lot of laugh lines in it. There's a lot of humor, but we don't understand it because Hebrew humor is humor by exaggeration. When Jesus says, "Hey, don't worry about getting the people of sawdust out of your neighbor's eye". When you got a telephone pole in yours, the disciples were probably busting up laughing. That's a good one. When Jesus says, "Hey, it's easier to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." that's Hebrew humor exaggerates. "Oh, that's a good one, Lord. It's easier for a rich man to get into heaven than for our camel to go through an eye of a needle than a rich man to get in". That's humor by exaggeration.

So Jesus is telling a joke here, it's humor by exaggeration. He say, "Why are you so concerned about the speck of sawdust in somebody else's eye, when you've got a huge log, a telephone pole in your own eye". "How dare you say, let me get that speck out of your eye". How dare you. Jesus says, instead, judge yourself. And first remove the log in your own eye. That's your blind spot. Remove the log in your own eye So then you can see clearly to help others. What's ironic is that we tend to judge in others what we dislike in ourselves. If you're lazy and you know it and you don't like that about you, you tend to judge other people lazy. You see it in others. If you're prideful, use tend to spot pride in others quickly. If you're greedy, you tend to spot greed in other people. Whatever you tend to struggle with yourself, fear, anger, worry, you tend to notice it in others quicker. And if you see somebody react violently to some certain sin, it may be because that's the one they're dealing with. It may be out of secret guilt, or it may be out of fear of being found out.

I remember years ago when we started Saddleback church, that there was a local state Senator who was stridently strong in being pro-family. He was just always talking about pro family and family values, but he was also very judgmental. And then after a few years, it was discovered that this so-called pro-family Senator in our area had been supporting a mistress who bore him to kids. He was covering up. When you see people who are very strident about something, you need to ask what's their fear, what's their guilt. 1 Corinthians 11:31. This is a powerful verse, I want you to listen to it. "If we judged ourselves in the right way, God would not judge us".

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Did you hear that verse, 1 Corinthians 11:31. If we judged ourselves in the right way, in other words, we've got a true evaluation ourselves. We do some self evaluation, we examine ourselves. We're gut-level honest, we're honest with ourselves. We're honest to God. If we judged ourselves in the right way, God would not judge us. Now, I want you to think about that verse for just a second and realize what the Bible is saying. It's saying if we would seriously examine our own lives, where we've got blind spots, okay. And we would evaluate them and we judge our own sins. If we would do self judgment of our own weaknesses and our own faults and our own failures, God says, "I wouldn't have to judge you". Wow, that ought to change the way you think about your own blind spots.

All right, let me just give you a couple more things to remember that it helped you be less judgmental. Number five, the Bible says, remember to listen first. You can't be judgmental if you're truly trying to listen compassionately, honestly, sincerely, fairly. How many times in this series have we quoted that verse in James chapter one, "Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry". Listen first before you judge. Listen first. One time the Pharisees were trying to judge Jesus without even letting him have a say, without even letting them explain himself, without even hearing his side of the story. So Nicodemus who by the way, was a Pharisee spoke up.

And in John chapter seven verse 51, Nicodemus says this to the Pharisees who are trying to judge Jesus without even letting Jesus speak, without even hearing him. Nicodemus says in John 7:51, "According to God's law, We cannot judge people. We cannot judge people before listening to them and hearing what they've done". How many times do you judge your child, your kid, your son, your daughter, without listening to their story first. That's still true today. We cannot judge people before listening to them and hearing what they've done. So before you go judging somebody in your family or in your business or in your church or in your small group, you need to talk to them and you need to listen to them and you need to hear them out and you need to let them explain themselves. If you don't do that, you are committing the sin of judgmentalism.

That leads me to the sixth thing that I need to remember. Number six, remember, write this down. Remember, I'll be judged by the standard I use. Oh, oh, that's a good reason to not be judgmental. I'm gonna be judged by the standard I use. Jesus said this very clearly, Matthew chapter 7:1-2, he said this, "Do not judge others, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged. And with the same measure you use, you will be measured". This verse is so important to me that about 10 years ago, I had some little tape measures made. They're about this size. It's a little pocket key chain for a thing. And I keep it in my pocket. Most of the time, just a tape measure when you need a tape measure. But I had printed on the side that verse Matthew 7:28, "By the standard of which you measure, it will be measured to you".

The way you judge others is the way you're gonna be judged. By the standard, by the measurement I used to measure others, that's the one that's gonna be used to me. I just keep this in my pocket to remember, don't be so judgmental. Paul says the exact same thing in Romans 14:10 and 12 and 13, he says this, "You have no right to criticize your brother". Pause there, you have no right to criticize your brother or look down on him. Remember each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God, okay? There's gonna be a judgment someday. Yes, each of us will have to give an account of himself to God.

Now he says, because of that, that there's gonna be judgment someday. He says, "So then don't criticize each other anymore". Wow. He says, one day there will be a judgment day, a judgment seat. How is God gonna judge people? Two ways, truthfully and impartially. Okay, that's God has the right to judge 'cause first He's the authority, He's the law giver. But He always judged truthfully, not based on opinion, but based on His word, based on the truth. And then He judges impartially. He's not prejudice. Today, there's a lot of prejudice and people can't get justice in the courts. If you're rich, you can get off a lot easier rather than jail time and all kinds of things. There is partiality in our justice system for race, for economics and a lot of other things. But God always judges truthfully and impartially. This is why God is the only one that has the right to judge us. 'Cause He's always completely true and He's always completely impartial.

Finally, here's the seventh. And this is the biggest reason of all for me to not be judgmental. Remember how God has shown me His grace, okay. If I got what I deserved, I wouldn't even be standing here. You wouldn't even be taking your next breath. Remember God has shown me and shown you grace and mercy. Couple of weeks back, remember we looked at James 2:13 with that phrase, mercy triumphs over judgment. And that whole message was about mercy. Now we're doing a message today on the second part, mercy triumphs over judgment. You ought to be grateful for the fact that God says, mercy triumphs over judgment. Ephesians 2:8. I love this in the amplified translation says this, "It is by free grace," Free grace, not you deserved it. "It's by free grace that you are saved and you are delivered from judgment through your faith". And this salvation, not of your own doing, it's God's gift to you.

Now let me ask you, have you received that salvation? Because if you haven't, you still are stuck in your guilt. You're still stuck in judgment because you're either living under grace or you're living under judgment. You either have accepted everything Jesus Christ did on the cross by paying for all your sins or you're planning to pay for your sins yourself. Somebody's gotta pay for all the stuff you've done wrong in life. You can either pay for it yourself, or you can accept God's grace and mercy. And then you pass from death into life without the judgment. It means you go scot-free.

So well, that's not fair, who said it was fair? It's a gift, it's grace. Grace is not fair. If God gave us exactly what we deserve, none of us deserve to go to heaven. Heaven's perfect and we're not. So if you have not accepted the grace of God, you need to do it now. It is by God's grace you have been saved. That's how you get your salvation. And even that's not of yourself, it's a gift of God. You just put your faith in God's grace. There's nothing you can do. If you haven't done that, it would be my honor to help you step across the line right now. You don't need to go through life under condemnation. God doesn't want you to go around feeling guilty for all stuff, you've done wrong. He wants you to accept His grace, accept His mercy, accept what Jesus Christ did on the cross.

So I wanna pray two prayers. First, I wanna pray a prayer for those of you who've never invited Christ into your life and made Him the Lord of your life. Asked Him to be the savior of your life to forgive you, to start living under grace rather than under condemnation or judgment. And then I wanna pray for the rest of us who've already made that decision and ask that God help us be a little more or a little less judgmental and a little more gracious to others. When you fully understand grace, you wanna be gracious to others. When you realize how much Slack God has cut you, you wanna give it to others. When you find somebody who's judgmental, you realize they don't really understand grace because they think they're still living under the law. That they have to get God's approval by what they do. No, it's all been paid for.

So let's bow our heads. And first let me lead you in a prayer. If you've never invited Jesus Christ in your life, say something like this:

Dear God, I know I've done a lot of wrong things in my life and I deserve to be judged for them. (Just say that, just admit it.) I wanna turn away from those sins. And I know I can't pay for them, but thank you, Jesus Christ for paying for my sins on the cross. I don't understand it all, but I understand that you have a free gift of your grace and mercy and that's the only way I can be saved and go to heaven and be delivered from the judgment. So today I'm putting whatever faith I've got in your promise to forgive me, to change me, to cleanse me, to make me a new person. I know I could never earn this or work for it. And so Jesus Christ, I'm saying yes to your grace, yes to your mercy. I wanna move from judgment into life. And I humbly ask this in your name.

Now I wanna pray a second prayer. And that's for those of us, who've already stepped across the line. And that is this, that we would be known, not as judgmental people, but as gracious as merciful people. So I want you to pray this prayer, say:

God, when I start to judge other people, help me to remember that judging others is unloving. That it's unloving. And help me to remember that it's your job, judgment is your job, not mine. That I'm playing God every time I judge somebody and I criticize them. Help me to remember Lord that judging others is unchristian, that Jesus, you didn't come to judge the world and I wanna be like you. You came to save it. Help me to point people to you instead of pointing people to judgment. I can't love people and judge them at the same time. And Lord, when I start to be judgmental, help me to look and say, is this guilt in my own life or is it pride? Am I just using this to excuse my own failures, to distract or am I using it to feel superior to other people? Forgive me for that.

Then Lord help me to remember these seven things that I might be more like Jesus Christ. Help me to remember that I'm not the standard, that I'm not to make up the standard of the world and people don't have to be accountable to me for perfection. Help me to remember that I don't know the whole story. I never know all the facts that there's God's side, there's people's sides, there's other people's sides. And that I don't know the whole story. Help me to be a little bit more humble. And Lord help me to remember that I don't know people's motivation. And when I start to judge their motivation, help me to remember that I don't even know my own half the time. Help me to remember that I have blind spots that I can't see. Instead of focusing on getting a speck out of somebody else's eye, help me to focus on getting the telephone pole out of my eye so that I can see more clearly the blind spots in me. Lord, I thank you for the promise that if we judge ourselves in the right way, you will not judge us.

So help me to make self evaluation and personal examination and personal judgment of my own sins, a regular habit in my life so that you won't have to judge me. Help me to remember before I judge somebody to listen first, that according to God's law, we cannot judge people before listening to them and hearing what they've done. Lord, I have to admit that it scares me that I will be judged by the same standard I use. So help me to be more loving, more gracious, more merciful, more forgiving. Help me to remember that if I judge other people, I accuse other Christians, I'm just doing the work of the devil. He's the accuser. Forgive me for all the time I've done the devil's work in badmouthing another Christian. Lord, most of all, help me to remember how much grace you've shown me. And when I remember that, that I would be gracious to other people, that I would be as forgiving of others, as you forgiven me and as merciful to others, as you've been merciful to me. I don't wanna be judged by my standard. I wanna be under your grace. Thank you that there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And I humbly ask you to help me learn to be less judgmental in Jesus name I pray. Amen, amen.

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