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Criticism, Selfish Pride and Judgment
 
 
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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04-22-2010, 09:12 AM
 
Hello Friends,

I've been thinking a great deal about this topic lately but especially yesterday when it was brought to my attention, and then again last night, and even this morning when I woke up. Let's be real, it's never fun to be criticized, lied about, or belittled. But the question I asked myself this morning was, 'What is the best way to deal with it when it does happen?' Especially when you know in your heart of hearts that it is all a bunch of malicious lies and half truths that have been intentionally twisted and manipulated by a group of miscreants to slander either you or your friends. So this morning I went to God's Word and sought His answer and this is what I found as relates to Criticism, Selfish Pride and Judgment.

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? 5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism. Romans 2:1-11 NIV

This passage deals with the ugly sin of hypocrisy in the context of judging others. Part of our sin nature is to think we are better than other people. If religious pride is involved, it makes matters even worse, since we are associating God’s name with our pride. Perhaps many people have turned away from our Lord Jesus Christ because of the hypocrisy of some of his followers. What a shame!

Hypocrisy in judging others is a sneaky sin that can creep in to any of our lives undetected. Often it masquerades as criticism. This has been a problem area for me during my walk with The Lord. I have caught myself criticizing people many times. Some examples that come to mind right off the bat:



I didn’t like the sermon at church, so I criticized the pastor


Someone didn’t say “Hello” to me, so I said something negative about them to my wife


Someone was driving recklessly on the highway, so I remarked, “that guy is a knuckle head”


Our neighbor’s house was in dire need of paint, so I commented sarcastically to my wife about my neighbor


A friend of my wife's expressed her differing liberal political views with me and later I ridiculed her while talking to my wife

Each time I spoke negatively about the persons involved, I was passing my own judgment about them and the situation. I felt justified in saying those things, but I was not. The above scripture points out that God is the only one qualified to judge people. He is qualified because he bases everything on truth. God sees the truth from every conceivable angle. He never deviates from the truth and he always administers perfect justice. When we criticize and judge others, we are basically trying to usurp God’s role as judge. Because we are imperfect, our perception of truth is tainted by our own perceptions and sin, and therefore, we are disqualified from judging.

The source of hypocrisy is a stubborn and unrepentant heart, which both stem from pride. The problem with pride is that it repels God from us. James wrote, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NIV). When we set ourselves in our ways and will not yield to God’s correction, we “store up” for ourselves God’s wrath.

The idea of storing up wrath relates to the law of sowing and reaping. God as a righteous judge will give to each person according to what he has done (6). If we have persisted in doing good, God will give us eternal life, glory, honor and peace. If we have cultivated selfish ambition, rejected His truth and followed evil, we will experience God’s “wrath and anger.”

Now please understand that I am not applying what I have posted here to anyone but myself but there may be some of my friends that read this and that truly love the Lord and that want to do what is right that will benefit from these scriptures that I read this morning. In any case, God Bless You All.

---John Peterson
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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04-22-2010, 09:50 AM
 
People that are hard on others and overly critical of others can't help,but apply the same judgement to themselves. In psychology is is called "projection" and it is just another way of expressing "judge not that you be not judged." The miserable lives that they have created through their own psychology is constanly feeding back on them - they have created their own Hell.
 
 
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Kyle Kyle is offline
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04-22-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Excellent post and i'm sure will be beneficial to many (certainly for myself). Thanks.
 
 
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JoeJustice JoeJustice is offline
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04-22-2010, 10:36 AM
 
John, I couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately these sentiments are often interpreted as, "If you're a Christian, you have to shut up and take abuse or else you're a hypocrite." I can't tell you how many times I've had discussions with folks and once they start losing the argument they say, "I thought you were a Christian, you're suppose to turn the other cheek."

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gs300tx gs300tx is offline
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04-22-2010, 11:15 AM
 
So true, a message that is SO SIMPLE, yet takes only a few of us can truly say that we follow it. But as long as we try right?
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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04-22-2010, 11:16 AM
 
I think unfortunately that is a misinterpretation of Christianity that many people were taught. Sort of like the three monkeys - hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Throughout history many rulers and church leaders have promoted that attitude in order to create a passive following or flock.The sheep of the good shepherd. If you you read the Bible though you find that Jesus was not a pacifist, but a very proactive and agressive agent of change. Re read that account of him in the temple on the high holidays- he was there to kick butt.
 
 
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Giant Soldier Giant Soldier is offline
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04-22-2010, 11:29 AM
 
That's right, Gordon. Even the parts about turn the other cheek and forgiving someone else seventy times seven times isn't really about being a pacifist. It's about not letting hate take hold of you, not letting it fill your heart. Two completely different things.

I think sometimes people are looking for an easy way out of a given situation or an excuse not to do anything about something and so they trot out that very superficial intrepretation.
 
 
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Johnny Johnny is offline
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04-22-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Great post John, Thanks for sharing!
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“The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.” — William Arthur Ward
 
 
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JoeJustice JoeJustice is offline
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04-22-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Pointing out a behavior, tradition or institution is destructive is not judging or condemning the people that take part in it. I believe we as Christians are called to take people where they are and try to help them move towards a positive, holy life. Christ took in sinner, tax collectors and prostitutes, but he told them "Follow me" and "Go and sin no more."

Jesus' teachings were not passive in any way. They took people for what they were, sinners, and if they accepted him and followed him, he would lead them to righteousness.

But what if they were unwilling to accept him? He was not passive about it, when a rich man asked Jesus what he lacked to be holy Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." And when the man would not do this Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19)

Christ wasn't condemning the man, he was condemning materialism.

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04-22-2010, 12:56 PM
 
Yes, but in no way was Jesus saying not to defend yourself. While he said to honor the peace maker he was not saying to just sit there and let yourself be attacked. "Praise the lord and pass the ammunition." I have come across people whose lives have been destroyed because some well meaning,but misguided parent told them the couldn't defend themselves and they didn't. They became victim type personalities and person after person took advantage of them and made their lives miserable. That is not my interpretation of what Jesus meant.. Jesus was a very, very, strong man or he couldn't have withstood the abuse that was done to him before the crucifiction - no shrinking violet there.
 
 
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