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Listen while you read: "Count Your Blessings"1 (Lyrics)
Galatians 6:4-5 – Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. (NIV)
During the summer when I walk to our city park, I take bags and a grabber to pick up trash along the side of the road. As I pick up plastic drink bottles, straws, miniature liquor bottles, and assorted other trash, I mutter about "those people" who carelessly throw these items out of their cars to litter the roadside.
When it's time to take my own trash to the dumpster in the recreational vehicle park, I usually pull the thirty-gallon bag out of the trash can, set it on the trunk of my car, and drive the short distance. Unfortunately, I also have the habit of thinking about too many things at once. One day, as I drove away from my recreational vehicle, I immediately forgot about that bag. Imagine my chagrin when I returned home about twenty minutes later to find that large bag of trash sitting in the middle of the street, pieces of trash spilling from the hole ripped in its side. It had fallen off the back of my car as soon as I turned out onto the main street from my neighbourhood. I was one of "those people"!
Matthew 7:1-5 – Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me remove the speck from your eye"; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (NKJV)
Like the scribes and Pharisees who brought the adulterous women to Jesus, my sin prevents me from casting the first stone. Like that bag of trash in the middle of the street, the plank in my own eye is too big to ignore.
Galatians 5:14 – For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (ESV)
Throwing litter out of cars is a minor issue, but if you're like me, you make judgments about all sorts of behaviours. What can we do to stop these judgmental thoughts? Study the Scriptures — it's clear that God does not look on this as a desirable behaviour. Instead of judging, let us show Christian love for "those people": pray, both for them and for ourselves, that we will think God's thoughts, not our own.
Prayer: Father, keep our thoughts clean and pure. Help us to love others instead of criticizing or judging them. Amen.
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Good advice, Sharon.
Thank you, Sharon, for stark reminder! Blessings.
Thanks Sharon. Am blessed this morning by your devotional.
An excellent, well-written reminder Sharon! A ‘heads-up’ that speaks loud and clear!
I think we are all judgmental at times and I shall try to remember this when I start being judgmental again. Good for thought.
Thank you so much for your devotional today. It was spot on for me. May God bless you.
Oh, I can so relate to this, Sharon. We too pick up trash continuously and it is so frustrating. It is so difficult to not be judgmental but after reading your post, I will continue to work on this. God bless!
Thank you for this devotional today and the good advice to not be judgmental to others.
Blessings for your thoughtful writing.
Oh Sharon, you’re not the only one to set something on the back or top of a car then drive away! How embarrassing that is… especially once we’ve discovered the error. Thankfully, there’s God’s merciful forgiveness… but then we get the “joy” of picking up the mess!
Good morning Sharon,
A great reminder of what we do without thinking about it. We judge so easily. We do not open our hearts and love all so easily. Let us all pray to God to remind us to leave the judgment to him and to see others as he does with a heart filled with love. Thanks.
Good morning Sharon,
How I enjoyed your devotional today. Have you been spying on me?? You certainly did hit home … complete with litter and all!!
My husband was a rock collector and his desire to hunt rocks took us to many wonderful spots.
Thank you for all of the excellent devotionals you prepare for us.!!
Best wishes. Hoping you will keep VERY well during these very difficult times.
Yes, with me it’s dog poop, “those people”! I have to talk to myself. They have not learned civil responsibility. Or, to love their neighbour as themselves? Perhaps they don’t know God, haven’t had the benefits in life I have had. Or learned the lessons God has taught me. And I am reminded that I am a sinner, saved by grace and still do things that hurt others or at least, are self-oriented and do not bless those around me. So, I pick it up along with my dog’s business and dispose of them both. I do what I can. And dare not judge another. It’s the struggle between my human nature, fallen as it is, and my Christ nature, that is still imperfectly formed in me. Forgive them Father, they know not what they do. Thank you. How often I have said, my humanity gets in the way of my Christianity. To be able to freely say, I am crucified with Christ and it is not I who live but Christ Who lives in me! A long time ago, when wearing buttons was popular, I had one that said: Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.
I once made the mistake of praying for patience.
What I really needed was understanding of where the other person was coming from.
Trash dumpers are an exception!
Thank you for your honest words today. Yes, l too, fall victim to making judgements – in the last few years about Church community and their treatment of me. But l don’t know what people are going through and maybe they are dealing with serious issues. I need to practise constantly to not judge and give the benefit of the doubt. No easy task!