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Encourage don't judge

'Never criticise or condemn - or it will all come back on you.' Luke 6:37 TLB

Ever criticised or judged someone because of something they've done, or not done? We can probably all answer 'yes' to this question. We can be quick to point out other people's faults. But Jesus said: 'And why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a board in your own? Should you say, 'Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye,' when you can't even see because of the board in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the board. Then you can see to help your brother' (Matthew 7:3-5 TLB).

None of us is perfect; only God is. And he is the only one who can judge. In Romans, it says: 'If you think you can judge others, you are wrong. When you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty, because you do the same things they do. God judges those who do wrong things, and we know that his judging is right' (2:1-2 NCV). The Message version of this verse says, 'Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticise their faults - unless, of course, you want the same treatment.'

Instead of judging and criticising, Paul says, 'When we have the opportunity to help...we should do it' (Galatians 6:10 NCV). So we need to be looking for ways to bless and encourage people, even when we know they can't do anything in return.

So what now? Next time you find yourself criticising someone, stop! Ask God to show you something you need to work on in your life.

Soulfood: Job 8-10, Matt 24:15-25, Ps 116:12-19, Pro 8:10-13

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