HOW DOES A NEW CREATURE ACT? part two
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell[f] is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
Jesus instructs me to resist judging, condemning or criticizing others, at least until I get the beam out of my own eye. Here I am with this big beam sticking out of the front of my head and I’m trying to get close enough to some poor guy’s face to do surgery on his eye! So the splinter may have inflicted by my beam!
We choose to enforce or ignore these Words based on whether the need for correction is urgent enough to risk retaliation. In other words, as we judge someone we see ourselves as the self-sacrificing one, piously enduring the personal inconvenience. Thus, the person we love the most is the one we hurt the deepest. What an embarrassing picture of our relationships.
And considering the nature of our hearts, changing that picture looks pretty hopeless. But there is good news! When God takes time to expose the darkness in our hearts, His purpose is not to BUM US OUT but to BUST US OUT!
We sing, “He is our peace, Who has broken down every wall.” Ephesians 2:14 actually says He has “destroyed the hostile dividing wall between us.” The walls between people are only too obvious. The point is that if this scripture is true, then those walls DO NOT EXIST any longer! The barriers between races and cultures that have soaked our cities with blood DO NOT EXIST! The walls that keep us from being really open, truthful and caring even to our own families ARE NOT REALLY THERE!
This is the “IT” in “IT IS FINISHED!“. Immediately, after Jesus made that announcement, Someone very tall and very strong walked into the Temple and ripped the Veil from the top to the bottom like a paper napkin! In one moment, the pivotal moment of all time, He pulled down all that separates! Nothing has the power to separate us from our Father or our Family anymore.
Now with that Truth in mind, we should have to be in a hypnotic trance to go through our whole lives behind imaginary walls. We just hold onto the muscle memory that keeps the illusion alive; the delusion of being superior, which is easy from behind the imaginary wall. Step back and look at the big picture. Someone is taking advantage of our adolescent weakness, convincing us that those walls are real. Somebody’s messin’ with our minds! I wonder who that could be?
Deception is one of the two powers which that “someone” possesses. Helped by our own fleshly pride, he isolates us behind imaginary walls. His other tool is accusation. From behind our walls we begin to hear his “insights” about our wife, husband, mother, father, in-laws, friend, pastor, employer, etc. Because we imagine ourselves separate from that person and above their flaws, we agree with and begin to even voice those insights. For an obvious reason, this disorder plagues Christians more than any other people. Somewhere along the line, someone told us that we should be “fruit inspectors.” The scripture we quote is Matthew 7:15,16. Look at it. Does it say “Distrust and analyze everyone?” It doesn’t even say “Watch out for prophets.” It says “Beware false prophets.” This is a test for suspected false prophets – not a test to put everybody we know through! Jesus’ all-encompassing command in regards to relationship is: LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Pray for each other and give them room to grow out of the old and into their new nature.
If we have the Holy spirit dwelling in us, there will be a noticeable connection to what Jesus is actually doing and saying, RIGHT? Where is Jesus? What is He saying and doing right now? Psalm 110:1, Mark 16:19 and Hebrews 8:1 say that He is “seated at the right hand of the Father”. Hebrews 7:25 says that He is “constantly making petition to God, interceding with Him and intervening for those who come to God through Him.” He is not just praying for you. He is fervently praying for that person who is the continual target of your criticism. [Selah! (That means, There! Whataya think about that?)] He is defending them in the face of each of those accusations, which we hear and think it’s because we’re so discerning. Which side are you on? Instead of agreeing with the accuser, you can join in with what Jesus is doing. That is why the Holy Spirit was given to us, so we can have the power to resist doing what our old twisted nature has always done and do what Jesus is doing!
Here in Matthew 7:7-14, Jesus describes this intercession. “Ask and keep on asking until it is given. Seek and keep on seeking until it is found. Knock and keep knocking until the door opens.” This passage, too, has been twisted by the prophets of the self-worship religions. This is the practical how-to instruction for what to do when we see faults in a person. And, believe me, that person won’t think nearly as much of your pearls of “insight” as you do, so don’t try to fix people! Jesus is the only One that can do that. And if we’ll get in on what He’s doing, we’ll find He was already working on it.
Think about what would happen if we looked at others through Jesus’ eyes. What if we really began to feel what He feels toward them? Don’t expect to be good at it. Just don’t react to things so quickly. Let Jesus come through. Practice. Be patient. And remember this: No one can tell you what Jesus thinks but Him. Read His word, call on Him and listen. No counselor, book or therapy can take the place of simply knowing Jesus. This gate is narrow. But this is the gate we must enter. Jesus’ way is love; love that is not just sympathy that can be patted on the back and tax-deductible. His love is self-sacrifice. Few even find this gate. Less actually go through it. Jesus did. To know Him, we must follow. And that’s Eternal Life!