15 July 2015
Reading: 2 Corinthians 5; Psalm 13
16 So we have stopped evaluating others by what the world thinks about them. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, as though he were merely a human being. How differently I know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NLT)
Like you, I’ve been learning to evaluate ever since I was a child. Things I like, things I don’t like. Things that are right, things that are wrong. People who are better than me, people I think I’m better than! We become experts at evaluating, even though the standards by which we measure and the values we hold are often faulty!
We evaluate food: “I like steak, I don’t like broccoli!” We prefer a certain style of music: “I like the Big Band sound! I like Country Western! Gimme that Old Time Rock and Roll!” We can so easily get caught in evaluating entertainment, clothing styles, and even the people around us by “what’s in and what’s out”, by what’s popular, by who has the most Twitter followers or Facebook friends, by what seems most successful.
Paul stopped evaluating people by what the world thinks about them! Paul recognized that you can really misjudge and get way off track by judging and evaluating people and things by what the world thinks about them. Paul didn’t change his evaluation of who Jesus Christ really was by engaging in a debate over Christ’s popularity and success, but by meeting him! It was when Saul of Tarsus, the Jesus hater, met the living Christ on the Damascus road that he began to become Paul the Apostle, who loved, admired, and served Christ with all his heart for all his life!
I’m pretty sure we’re going to keep judging (evaluating) people and things. But Jesus said we’ll be judged (evaluated) in the same way, by the same standard, we judge (evaluate) others!
With God’s help, I’m going to stop judging people the way the world judges them. I’m going to begin using the standard to judge others that I want to be judged by! I’m going to look for inner qualities, not outward appearance. I’m going to be kind and not harsh, merciful and not retributive.
Father, Please help me with this! May I judge others as you have judged me, with love and mercy, for redemption and not condemnation. Amen!