What would you say to wisdom?
* Wouldn’t you like to know how to respond to the people in your life in a way that would actually help them?
* Wouldn’t you like to know when you should speak, and when you should keep quiet?
* Who to listen to and who not to?
* What things you should do and what you shouldn’t in a given situation?
In this last section of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus gives four commands and four warnings.
The commands come in the first half, the warnings in second half, and all have to do with right conduct in relationship with others, and with God the Father, the first Person of the trinity.
1) Jesus first command was to: Reverence God the Father, Judge of all people, by not judging others,
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (Matthew 7:1“Few activities in life rival the thrill of passing judgment on another human being.” That’s one author’s comment. Think about it.
- “Oh, the nerve of that person!”
- “Well, I wasn’t raised like that!”
- “Who died and made him king?!”
In our minds we condemn people who thwart us, get in our way, annoy us, irritate us. The chief reason judging people is so satisfying is that I’m affirmed as being the better person – I know better than they do, I do better than they do. No matter what I’ve done, or how bad I am, I can always find someone else who is worse.
If they seem better than me, then with just a little bit of hunting, I’ll be able to find some flaw in them that I don’t see in myself, which automatically makes me better than they are in my mind.
- “She thinks she’s so perfect, but I wouldn’t go out in public with my bra strap showing, like she does!”
- “Everyone thinks he’s so nice, but I saw him be rude just yesterday morning!”
- “I wouldn’t let my children do what they let their children do.”
That’s why we love to read about famous, beautiful, perfect people toppling, or hear about some spiritual giant falling into sin. They seemed better than me, but now that they’ve fallen, it turns out I’m better than even that person! Without having improved in any way at all, I am all of a sudden better than them, and boy does that feel good.
But there’s a consequence to all this forbidden pleasure,
"For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7:2+ Give love and you’ll receive it,
+ Give mercy and you’ll receive it, you and I reap what we sow.
If we indulge in judging, we better get ready to be judged and if we want to escape judgement then we better not judge at all.
Instead, you and I need to remind each other all the time of God’s grace.
Wisdom finds its source, the Bible says, in a reverent awe of God. He alone can read hearts and knows the true motives, and He alone has the right to judge, since He really is pure, perfect, all-wise, all-knowing and the Creator of us all.
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