UnJudged; Mary & Joseph

Matthew 7:1-5(Message)
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier- than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”
Self-confidence, in today’s world, is lacking. Far too often people, myself included, compare themselves to others trying to get a boost of self-esteem, or shake someone else’s confidence. A judgmental personality is one of the easiest to come by, yet one of the hardest to let go of. Let’s be honest here for a second, all of us at some point have ridiculed a stranger or maybe even someone close to us, just to receive the few seconds of “self-worth”.
Where exactly does judging get us to though? A place of peace, comfort, and confidence? No. Instead, we get to a place of emptiness, discouragement, and we remain unsatisfied. Yet it is so easy to fall into a judgmental state of mind. When the village heard of Mary’s pregnancy, which came before her marriage to Joseph, they jumped at the chance to “destroy” who Mary was. Little did they know that the child she was bearing, was from the Holy Spirit, and that this baby would come to save us all.
That is exactly what I would like to emphasize. How much do we truly know about the situation of the person we continue to judge? We have no idea what God has planned for someone. Is it worth destroying the reputation of someone else, whether publicly or in your head, just to receive brief satisfaction, followed by tremendous grief?
As you go throughout this week, and as Christmas approaches, take a look inside and see what you can be cleaning up in your own life. Christmas is a time to show unconditional love and abundant forgiveness. For the woman who was judged the most gave birth to the child who saved our eternal life.
Reflection questions:
1. When have you felt judged?
2. When have you felt it was okay to judge someone else?
3. Why does God insist we focus on our own flaws?
Forgive and forget, while loving with an open heart.

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