A Faith that works when life doesn't Part 4 (Day 2)
Before You Judge, Listen in Love
It’s hard to be judgmental when you're listening with compassion, honesty, sincerity, and fairness. James 1:19 says, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" (NIV). The Bible says, listen first before you judge.
One time the Pharisees were trying to judge Jesus without letting him have a say or explain himself. They didn’t want to hear his side of the story. But Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees, spoke up and said, "According to our Law we cannot condemn people before hearing them and finding out what they have done" (John 7:51 GNT).
How many times have you judged someone—your child, your spouse, your neighbor, your enemy—without listening to their story first? Have you found yourself treating someone the same way the Pharisees treated Jesus?
When you feel the urge to judge someone, stop and take a deep breath. Hold that breath before you release it—if that’s what it takes for you to listen before you speak! If you don't listen first, you are committing the sin of judging others.
Do you think something needs to come to light in someone’s life? That’s probably not yours to expose. Let God take care of it. Your job is to listen first. Try to understand before judging someone’s struggle.
Jesus said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 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 7:1-2 NIV).
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Listen in love, and let God be the judge.
Talk It Over
- Why do you think some people believe they can do a better job at judging others than God?
- How does listening to your loved ones before judging them help you to truly understand them?
- What is one thing you can practice doing during conversations so that you can become a better listener?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.