S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” Luke 7:36-39 NLT
You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth.
Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” Romans 2:19-24 NLT
Although the Bible says that God is our Judge (Psalm 50:6), people still try to be judge over other people. We do it all the time. In fact, it might even be the case that we judge basically every person we encounter. We make silent assessments and render our verdict literally dozens of times every day. Don’t believe me? Go to Walmart. And yet being the judge of the rest of humanity was never meant to be our job.
In the story above from Luke 7, the Pharisee is so busy judging the sinful of the woman that he forgets about his own sin. What sin of his own is he unaware of?
Is there a group of people you feel judged by?
Is there a group of people whom you tend to be judgmental toward?
It is good to recognize when something is a sin. We need to know what’s good and what’s evil. But it’s not good to be judgmental toward the sinner. What are some indicators that you have crossed the line from recognizing sin (which is good) to being judgmental toward the person (which is bad)?
Lord, it is easy for us to be judgmental toward other people. Yet when we are busy looking down our noses at other people, it’s easy to forget about our own sins. And it’s easy to forget that You are the Judge. Please remind me today of when I am being judgmental and give me the strength to show grace.