The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.” Georgia Harkness
It seems to me that more evil is done in the world in the name of religion than for any other reason. We automatically think of Islam and their fanatic suicide bombers. We tend to forget that Christianity has had its share of purges and killings. Too soon have we let the Inquisition fall from our memory. We become sure that we know what God wants and push our beliefs on everyone. Anyone who doesn’t agree is evil. This is not what Jesus taught.
Prayer: Lord God, there is so much hatred in the world. Help us to turn the face of love toward those who hate and teach them about your love. Amen
It is so easy to make snap judgments about others. Today I did a mediation. My initial thoughts had we favoring one side. I always have to shove these thoughts aside and wait to hear the whole story. The whole story is the answer and we don’t often know it. We judge without understanding. Judging is not up to us. Understanding is.
My daily meditation will be on the Psalms for a while. I hope you find this meaningful.
Psalm 1 verse 1 from the NRSV
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
I was struck by the word “scoffers.” How often do we put down the ideas of others without really considering them. Sometimes we are not rejecting the ideas but the people themselves. We do not even hear them out or consider what they would mean. Think about this attitude and hear others out.
Gracious Lord, help us to listen with open mind and heart and not scoff but HEAR. AMEN
This is so true that it is scary. We are the person who get ourselves into trouble. We are the person who doesn’t follow the path of Jesus. We are the one who passes by the homeless person on the street. We are the person who judges others. We are the person who tells malicious stories about our acquaintances. We would like to blame someone else but we can’t.
We HAVE met the enemy and he is us!
Loving God, help us to take the log out of our own eye. Remind us that what we hate most is others is frequently one of our own failings. Teach us to love. Forgive us and grant us your mercy. AMEN
Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. ————William Shakespeare
It is so easy for us to judge others. Gossip is usually some form of judgement. Often the things we are quickest to judge in others is the one we don’t see in ourselves. We have not walked in another person’s shoes. We don’t know the whole story. No judgement!
Forgiving God, remind us that we too are often wrong and quick to judge. Help us to walk with compassion and love. AMEN
Difference of rite ought not to involve differences of faith-———Christopher Dawson
Sometimes I think that we spend as much or more time pointing out the flaws of other denominations that we do about other religions. Some feel that their path is the only one and want to be sure that everyone else is wrong.
God is so far beyond out understanding that none of us can claim to have the only truth. Don’t waste time putting down others.
Gracious Lord, remind us to mind our own search for you and not someone else’s. AMEN
Psalm 51: 10-12
10 create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
This is one of my favorite Psalms. I frequently think that my heart needs cleaning out. I have let too many unkind thoughts sneak in. Sometimes my mind is made up about someone and I see them through dark glasses. That opinion might have come from gossip or a too quick judgement on my part. My opinion colors my relationship with them. I need a new and right spirit.
Loving God, help me to clean out my heart of wrong thinking and unfair ideas. Put your spirit within me. AMEN
We are so quick to make judgements. We can decide in one moment about a person and be completely wrong. Indian lore talks about walking a mile in someones shoes. Many times I have known someone for quite a while and had no idea of the tragedies in their life. We have to let go of judging. God knows the whole story and will judge. It’s not our job.
Loving God, you know how we put people into categories and make judgements. Help us to see others with compassion and love.
Holding a grudge is a stone in your heart TV show The Good Doctor
It is so easy to hold on to grudges against people who have wronged us. Sometmes the grudge makes us want to strike back and get revenge. God has called us to a different choice. Through Christ he has made it clear that we are to turn the other cheek. We are not to seek retribution. Judgement is left up to God.
Forgiving God, help us to let go of the stone in our hearts. Help us to give back kindness instead of revenge. AMEN
There is so much judgment going on today. People are judged for their skin color, their religion, their money or lack thereof. That is only the beginning of the list. We could go on with transgender, homosexual, adulterer and on and on.
The problem is we are not called to judge. It is not our job. Our job is to love without judging. Admittedly a difficult job. When someone is everything you despise it is hard to think about accepting and loving but that is what God expects. In spite of what we see in front of us we have to see the human being that God made.
Forgiving God, help us to understand that we are not called to judge. Teach us to see you in everyone we meet. AMEN