Archive for the ‘Judging’ Category

December 1st, 2013

Yank the Plank

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

Jesus exposed the sin of self-righteousness. He identified our tendency to embrace a higher standard when evaluating others. We become preoccupied with judging others extensively to the neglect of examining our own lives accurately. While bearing a plank in our own eye, we seek to isolate the speck of sawdust in the eye of someone else. We fail to come to grips with the truth of our current reality.

Self-righteousness erodes our relationship with others and with God. Self-righteousness is a byproduct of an inflamed pride and arrogance. We forget where we were when Jesus came to our rescue. We begin to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

The antidote to self-righteousness is humility. The first step toward humility is embracing a proper view of yourself. Begin to view your life in light of the holiness of God. Ask the Lord to search your heart (Ps. 139:23). As God reveals the presence of self-righteousness in your life, confess it as an offense to Him. Acknowledge your sin before God and receive His provision of forgiveness. Confess sin immediately and specifically.

Now ask God to help you love the person you have been judging. Ask God to remind you of that person’s value in God’s eyes. Pray for God to give you the capacity to see that person the way God does.

It’s time to yank the plank.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 1st, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Accepting Others, Humility, Judging.
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December 1st, 2011

Yank the Plank

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matt 7:3-5 (NIV)

Jesus exposed the sin of self-righteousness. He identified our tendency to embrace a higher standard when evaluating others. We become preoccupied with judging others extensively to the neglect of examining our own lives accurately. While bearing a plank in our own eye, we seek to isolate the speck of sawdust in the eye of someone else. We fail to come to grips with the truth of our current reality.

Self-righteousness erodes our relationship with others and with God. Self-righteousness is a byproduct of an inflamed pride and arrogance. We forget where we were when Jesus came to our rescue. We begin to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

The antidote to self-righteousness is humility. The first step toward humility is embracing a proper view of yourself. Begin to view your life in light of the holiness of God. Ask the Lord to search your heart (Ps. 139:23). As God reveals the presence of self-righteousness in your life, confess it as an offense to Him. Acknowledge your sin before God and receive His provision of forgiveness. Confess sin immediately and specifically.

Now ask God to help you love the person you have been judging. Ask God to remind you of that person’s value in God’s eyes. Pray for God to give you the capacity to see that person the way God does.

It’s time to yank the plank.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 1st, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Accepting Others, Humility, Judging.
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August 25th, 2009

The Fault Of Favoritism

“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” James 2:1 (NIV)

James gives perspective to the believers who have been dispersed by the persecution in Jerusalem. He is writing to the Jews of the Diaspora. They are living outside of their homeland. They are being exposed to different cultures and to different philosophies for living. James reminds them that they are believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. Their position in Christ is to inform their behavior toward others.

We have been transformed by God’s grace and adopted into His family. Our identity is that of being believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. Our lives take on new meaning as we embrace the way of Jesus. His life and His mission become our reality. Jesus wants to transform the culture through us. Thus, we are not to show favoritism. We are not to value one person over another. We are not to favor one people group over another people group.

  • “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.’” Lev 19:15 (NIV)
  • “I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” 1 Tim 5:21 (NIV)

The spirit of favoritism does not reflect the heart of God. As His children, we are not to show favoritism. God has called us to extend His love to every people group on earth. That means to impartially radiate His love and compassion to every person regardless of their skin color or social status. A great start would be for you to begin praying for people who are not like you.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Compassion, Favoritism, Grace, Judging, Love.
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February 19th, 2009

Judging Others

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42 (NIV)

Cynicism and criticism are alive and well. Intake a few moments of a reality television show and you will quickly discover that our culture thrives on judging others. The standard we use for others is usually vastly different than the standard we use on ourselves.

Jesus confronted the error of judging others without first examining our own lives. We have a way of making ourselves feel good about our own condition by fixating on the worst in others. We tend to use a microscope to view others and then an out-of-focus pair of binoculars to examine ourselves. Our view of others and our view of ourselves become skewed.

Hypocrisy is the act of appearing to be something you are not. Jesus says that once you address the plank in your own eye, then you will be able to see others clearly.

  • “Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.” Psalms 26:2-3 (NIV)
  • “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24 (NIV)

Once you have prayed and asked God to reveal sin in your life, confess your sin and receive God’s provision of forgiveness. Now it is time to yank the plank!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Introspection, Judging, Self-control.
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October 4th, 2008

Family Spats (6)

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matt 7:3-5 (NIV)

You always find what you are looking for.

If we want to find fault in someone, we won’t have to look far. It is so easy to discover inconsistencies in others. When it comes to examining the lives of others, we have the eyes of an eagle. Detecting defects in others has a way of boosting our self image and stroking our ego. We tend to look through the microscope to view others and then choose to view ourselves through rose colored glasses.

Jesus lobbed a major teaching on the value of proper introspection. He uncovered our human tendency to view others critically while viewing ourselves gently. Jesus even used the explosive word, hypocrite. When we critique others unfairly and then hide behind a mask that conceals our authentic current reality, Jesus exposes our hypocrisy.

What if we began viewing ourselves in light of the holiness of God? What if we began to view ourselves in light of God’s Word? Our response would be like that of Isaiah, “Woe to me! I am a man of unclean lips!” (Is. 6:5). Remember, man looks at the externals, but God looks at the heart (I Sam. 16:7).

Let’s deal with the gigantic log in our own eye and stop judging others for the speck in their eye. To help us find what God wants us to look for, consider praying daily through the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:3-17) and praying daily through the fruit of the Spirit.

  • “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.’” Ex 20:20 (NIV)
  • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23 (NIV)

I think God is calling me to be a logger so that the fruit of the Spirit will be evidenced in my life and through my life for His glory.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, October 4th, 2008 at 1:01 am
Category Conflict Resolution, Family, Introspection, Jesus, Judging.
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July 2nd, 2008

God’s Perspective (2)

“Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” James 2:2-4 (NIV)

The corporate worship setting is sacred. When we gather with fellow believers to express our love to God in corporate worship, we are obeying God and demonstrating a reverence for His glory. The worship environment is conducive to encouraging each other and edifying the body of Christ. However, the corporate setting for worship can also be an environment where discrimination seeps in.

Making a judgment about one’s appearance based on their attire is condescending to the very one Christ died for. For us to give preferential treatment to those endowed with financial prowess would be tragic in the eyes of God. For us to consider withholding our love, affirmation, acceptance, and inclusion of those less fortunate would break the heart of God. We become the judges when we start ranking human beings and attaching varying levels of worth based on externals.

Preferential treatment misrepresents the character of God. We need to embrace God’s perspective on those He created and sent His Son to die for. God took the initiative to establish our value through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. Every person matters to God. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to place the same value on others that God does. We are to see others through the saving work of Jesus on the cross.

Is there anyone you are currently looking down on? Have you minimized the value God places on others? Let’s be reminded of where we were when God found us in our sin.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 am
Category Discrimination, Favoritism, Judging, Sin.
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