Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:37-38)
There’s Jesus in Luke, telling us not to judge. But judgment is such a basic part of being human! Baseball is a good example. Baseball is full of judgments.
Think of the fans. Part of being a fan is being engaged with the players. They’ll tell you when you’re good, and they’ll tell you when you’re not. They’ll tell you why you should be traded. They’ll even question why the GM signed you!
Everyone is full of judgment because judging is a normal human thing.
You know what else it says there in Luke? It says,
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6: 27-28)
But that’s nearly impossible! Do we really pray for those that hate us? There is no way we do that. There’s no way that you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, you know what, this person hates me and I just pray that he or she is blessed today. Face it! We do not do that. Not without giving ourselves a little push!
But there’s more to this. As I study the scriptures on judgment, I realize that every time Jesus talks about judging, He immediately talks about hope and forgiveness. He immediately describes abundance. He says it right there in Luke:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
I remember late September 2010. I wasn’t getting called into many games. In fact, I didn’t pitch for two weeks! I grew angry and frustrated, and then, I read this scripture. It really hit me. I mean, I knew these scriptures, and I knew these things, but did I really pray for those that hate me? I didn’t. It’s not a normal human thing to do.
But we’re Christians. We’re called to more, right? So I prayed about this. I said, “I know it’s normal to judge, and I know it’s not normal to pray for those that hate us. But God, I am yours. I am a child of the King! I am a new creature in Christ! I have been reborn. I have been remade. Now my spirit drives me, so truly, I have to strive to do these things.”
Then I really started listening. If someone judged a teammate, or something negative was said about him — by the media or any another person — I would walk over to that teammate and I would just speak the opposite over him. I would basically give him a positive in place of the negative.
I did this randomly. Sometimes he didn’t know why I was doing it, because he hadn’t heard the judgment. But that’s not why I did it. I was just trying to break up the judgments off of every player on our team. I was praying the judgments away.
I began walking the outfield, praying for every guy on the team. If I found myself accidentally judging again, I’d ask for forgiveness.
I am not the reason the Giants won the World Series that year. We won it as a team. No, that was the year I learned to replace judgment with prayer.
See you Wednesday.