Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
Jesus told us, “Do not judge.” No one is different than anyone else, and we can’t change. We can be changed. And when the Spirit of God flows through us, judgment is replaced by encouragement, understanding, and love.
“Do not judge.” That concept is so much easier for me to grasp when judgment is replaced by loving my neighbor. If you try to just “not judge,” you’re going to have a really difficult time. “Not judging” is hard!
“Not judging” is much easier when you do something in its place. How about listening and helping?
I wish I could look in the mirror and say, “I don’t ever judge people,” but I can’t. I definitely judge people. I don’t like this about myself, but I still do it.
I think sometimes we judge because we’re cowards, at least in certain areas. We don’t want to go to somebody and talk to them about something we don’t like about them. We don’t want to be direct about what we think they’re doing wrong, or how they frustrate us. We want to be able to feel it, but we don’t want to have to do anything about it.
We just want to look at somebody and say, “This guy is driving me nuts. He’s doing all these things wrong and he’s an idiot.” You know? We’re happy enough to just think these things and walk away.
The problem is, you’ve just judged that guy seven or eight times! We do that, and then we still want to think we’re good people.
The reality is, I’m not a good person. I strive to be a good person, but I can’t do it alone. I need Jesus with me, telling me, “This is how you can become a good person.”
We all have demons hidden inside our closets. And you know what? We’re never going to get rid of them. That’s why, if you try to live without Jesus, those demons are going to frustrate you.
If you continue to live just for yourself, you’re going to fail yourself every day.
Life in Christ is a good way of life, because Jesus is where we find joy. When I think about Jesus, I think, “This is where heaven is!”
With Jesus, you are going to find peace. Your struggles in life are not going to go away. They aren’t. Life has its struggles. But you’re going to find more peace in those struggles. That’s because when you have Jesus, you have something inside of you that’s different.
With Jesus, the happiness is the struggle. That’s why Paul said, “Hey man, I take joy in my trials and tribulations. You know, I lean on God during these times and this is where I find the ultimate peace. I find Him. In Christ, I can have all things. When I have the Spirit of God living in me, I have all things.”
I know that even though I’m going to mess up, and I’m going to have issues, and I’m going to struggle with my own problems, I have someone to turn to. He has poured His Spirit into our hearts, and now we have hope without shame. Struggle becomes a whole new deal. In struggle we lean on Him, and He gives us peace.