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Day

33

The Root of Gossip-Passing Judgment

Lent 2023

Read Romans 14:10–23

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

"As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother Romans 14:10

“I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me” (Anonymous).

It is in our nature to be judgmental. However, being overly judgmental steals our peace, joy, and alienates friends. Do you look down on others? Are you overly critical of your spouse, friends, children, coworkers, etc.? An entire faction of America’s entertainment industry, everything from TV shows to magazines, is dedicated to passing judgment on others. Even among everyday people, we gossip as we pass judgment on others in our conversations with others. It is a difficult attitude to overcome, but God calls us to a better, loving response.

Equally difficult is not letting the freedom you have in Christ become a stumbling block to others around you. Instead, we seek to use our freedom while remaining concerned for the impact that this might have on those around us.

In both of these things, God is calling Christians to care for others. Our actions matter because they can draw people away from Christ. But, in him, they can also draw others to him. God wants us to know the joy of serving others in this loving way.

Prayer

Lord God, you died for us all. Help us to give your grace to others in this life. Amen.

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