There's been a lot crossing our way lately in the form of judgments and proclamations. What I mean is that we've been dealing with a lot of people's opinions and what they say about others. Now I think I can say this because I happen to be one, but women talk a lot. My husband and I take drives so that we can get out of the house and talk and I have to admit that I do most of the talking. Sometimes, I realize that I've changed subjects about three times in the course of one monologue. That's okay, its a scientifically proven fact that women talk more than men. However, I have to guard what I say and even be careful of the perception I have of other people's lives and actions. Proverbs 14:1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Wow, that's heavy and pretty simple. Don't we do that all the time with the words we speak?Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it."
What may seem frivolous to me, is a necessity to another. You cannot walk into my house and look at my things and judge my spending habits based on that. One reason is that you don't know how well I may or may not be budgeting my money. I shop a lot at the Goodwill and consignment shops. You don't have to know that, but don't judge me. (see yesterday's post for more on this topic.) I may look at you and see you slacking in your particular area of ministry. You may be showing up late or not at all or you may have lame excuses for not praying or whatever. What I may not know is that you and your husband are fighting for your marriage in a very real way, or you just found out you owe the IRS $10,000 in back taxes, or your teenager is pregnant, or (insert your particular struggle here).
Paul said that we walk out our salvation daily and he was so right. Everyday I wake up and choose to follow after Christ, its not automatic. Its so easy to judge someone from what you can see and some people are actually audacious enough to spew it out of their mouths. That's proclaiming a curse in case you didn't know. Even thinking poorly about another is bad. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he... Walking out our daily struggle with Jesus is a messy business and its a very personal thing. We need to hold one another accountable, but even that needs to be rooted in love for the other person. Carry your own cross, and don't criticize your brother when his slips a little. Don't tear down the house, only a fool does that.