Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

13 05 2014

It is the easiest thing in the world for me to listen to someone…even from a distance…judge their actions and motives, commend or condemn them and move on.

I have this “right.” Through the first twenty years of my healing process I read enough psychology books, and took (then dropped out during the 10th week!) enough psychology classes to have a degree in that field!

I understand far more than most the workings of the mind, and can identify the types of wounds most carry.

That makes me pretty stinking wise – or so I thought!

It took another fifteen years for the Lord to get me off my psychological high horse. In fact, the horse had to die…and even then I sat proudly in the saddle.

That’s a really sad picture!

Oh, after a bit of conversation, I can still tell a person more about their history than they would care to have anyone know. However, what I miss every time is that tiny piece of the picture that, once healed, brings freedom to him or her.

The Lord will not allow it, for if He did, I would receive credit for His work.

There’s a tiny phrase in Psalm 139:3 that came to light a few years ago. It is this:

“You comprehend my path and my lying down.”

Comprehend? What does this mean?

As I considered the word, I realized that it is much different from “I see the path you’re on and where it leads.”

Instead, what the Lord is saying here is that He not only sees where we are going, but understands why we made that choice. Further, He “gets” what makes us give up and lie down.

Thus, an action which appears to be a horrible choice from the outside, may very well be the best choice they could make under the circumstances, given their history, understanding, and level of trust in the Lord.

…and is not worthy of harsh judgment in the Lord’s eyes!

Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Being the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, He sees that heart from it’s conception up to the current time – and then beyond today into what that heart will become.

Aren’t you thankful?

{And yes, I know that Jesus took the punishment for our sin…that’s not my focus, so I’m leaving that out. This has more to do with interpersonal relationships. 🙂 }

This means that many of the things for which I condemn myself (and others, too), God does not. He comprehends my path and my lying down. He knows the lies I believed, the incomplete – and utterly inaccurate – knowledge I had of Him and why I couldn’t trust Him at that time.

He knows that one little comment made which was enough to push me over the edge and seek to end my life…how badly I wanted to lie down and never get back up! He knows the entire back story and the depth of the wound their words tapped into.

Perhaps with this understanding, we see why James penned these words in James 4:

“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy.

Who are you to judge another?

If we can refrain from judging, and instead move toward people in love, we will begin to see others from God’s viewpoint. In time, as trust is built, we begin to learn what’s behind the actions…and we begin to see why they made choices that seemed crazy to us.

More importantly, we discover that our original evaluation of his or her actions did not take into account the history from which their behavior stemmed, and why the Lord whispers, “Shhh. Just love.”

It is for this reason that James 2: 13 confidently states:

For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. 

“Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

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16 responses

17 05 2014
nopew

Good teaching and images, yet the words about mercy in James should scare people enough to live compassion rather then condemnation! Wouldn’t you? I guess we like playing God so much we are blinded to the judgment heaped on us by our own rebellious intolerance. But God loves us anyway…
Peace

17 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

He is so good to us!

\o/

14 05 2014
Pure Glory

So often when I judge someone else, I find out that I have the same thing in my own life. Most of the time I’m clueless and find it easier to examine someone else rather than myself. Time passes and I find myself doing the same thing I had despised in someone else. Lord help me! Thanks for sharing!

14 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

It was an eye opener the day the Lord pointed out that the log and the speck are composed of the same material. What I see as a little problem in others is a big issue in me! Ouch. 🙂

\o/

14 05 2014
Pure Glory

🙂

13 05 2014
Equipping The Saints

Thank you for sharing. I am sure that your experiences will be of a great value to others who are now experiencing what you did. Blessings,

Senior Pastor/Equipping the Saints
Philip 3:10, “That I May Know Him”
http://gravatar.com/cchurchchurchblog
http://cchurchchurchblog.wordpress.com/

14 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks Pastor!

\o/

14 05 2014
Equipping The Saints

You are very welcome.

13 05 2014
isaiah41v10

Beautiful.
I liked the word picture about sitting proudly on the dead horse.
I’ve been badly hurt by ill-chosen words too, and shudder to think what pain I have caused others. But He is still working.
When we are very close to a person, for example a family member, we may think we know everything and can judge, but even then we don’t have the right.

14 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Amen. God has been showing me that I can’t even correctly judge those closest to me. I lack too much information to do so accurately. He makes a much better judge!

\o/

13 05 2014
tsizzles

Yeah you’re very right. I love how you that judging the person does not take into consideration the history of their experience and their actions. It is very similar to judging based on very little intel and not realizing that the statement made or action taken is done as a result of something bigger that preceded it, like the forest painted as the lasting in the landscape picture.
It is an amazing example of Matt 7:1-2. Judging others has its consequences! Thanks for this post.

13 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for taking time to comment, and you’re welcome. We are learning the importance and value of {giggle} obedience to the command to not judge…go figure! 🙂

\o/

14 05 2014
tsizzles

Obeying that command in itself is a full time job! Imagine the number of times I find myself repenting and seeking forgiveness from the victim when I suddenly realize the depth of my offense only after I make it.

I honestly wish it were not so. How awesome would it be if the bible was so easy to follow?

14 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

I agree. The Bible’s commands are simple…but not always easy to obey! 🙂

\o/

13 05 2014
birdieklh

Great word!

13 05 2014
lessonsbyheart

I agree. We’ve had ample opportunity to practice this and discovered the many benefits of approaching folks in this way, the greatest of which is peace. Mmm. Love that!

\o/

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