I’m Judging You

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.
Romans 14:10 NIV

Therefore you have no excuse, every one of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
Romans 2:1-2 ESV

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these”
George Washington Carver

“Compassion costs. It is easy enough to argue, criticize, and condemn, but redemption is costly, and comfort draws from the deep. Brains can argue, but it takes heart to comfort.”
Samuel Chadwick

Judgment. That’s a heavy word, isn’t it? A Christian’s mind, upon hearing it, would probably go to his/her relationship with God. Our salvation, after all, is based on the relationship Jesus Christ made possible for us by His death and resurrection. The price for our ultimate judgment was paid by that sacrifice. But that’s one kind of judgment at one extreme end of the judgement scale. At the other end might be your spouse’s judgment regarding your decision to wear your favorite Harley Davidson t-shirt to dinner out. You know, the one you bought at that Sturgis rally in ’83? Seriously, throw it away. Its stains have stains. But there are all kinds of judgments we engage in every day. The kinds of judgments that get us into hot water are the ones where we attempt to put ourselves in God’s place. He has that spot wrapped up. Doesn’t need our help. Never did.

Letting go of our need to judge people doesn’t mean they’re released from responsibility for their actions. For all of us, actions always have consequences, though those consequences may not be immediately apparent. This change in attitude frees us to make the energy we’re expending on judgment available for compassion and understanding. Most importantly, it frees up whatever it is we have to be used by God for His purposes.

I’m trading in the robe I’ve worn for judgment.
It looked so sharp the day I put it on.
Every time I chose it, sat down, picked up the gavel,
I felt powerful, superior,
then it dawned…
I’d never be able to let go of my judgments.
One by one I’d have to add them to the weight.
And no robe could ever cover
so much judgment once discovered
as Jesus did by the price he paid.

© Joel Tipple 8/3/2019

Some Comfort

20190413_214413.jpgIt is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Psalm 86:17 NIV

Inspiration came to me this week via my allergies. Here’s why.  I recently ordered some handkerchiefs, because… well, when your need is as great as mine, tissues just don’t cut it. By the way, did you know that a standard men’s handkerchief is 16 x 16 inches? And if you want something smaller, you have to get women’s handkerchiefs. And they’re more expensive. For less of the same material. They call that the pink tax. But I digress.
One of my earliest memories of my dad was a time as a small boy when I was hurting. I don’t know whether I was suffering from an ear infection or just a garden variety earache, but whatever it was, it was causing me a considerable amount of pain. I don’t know what other steps were being taken to alleviate my distress but seeing how upset I was, my dad gave me his red handkerchief. Aside from being practical, at that moment it simply felt like love. Now, when I pull out my own handkerchief, the material reminds me of that moment and my father’s love.

Some bit of comfort,
from a father to a child
can spell the difference
between calm and despair.
A hug,
compassion,
bound up in a bit of cloth,
can be as vital
to  the one who needs it
as air.
Not every effort we make
to share God’s love
need be expensive
or grand.
Sometimes all we need to share is a smile.
Sometimes all we need to give is a hand.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10

© Joel Tipple 4/13/2019

How Deep is the Well?

(Another shooting is in the news today, as well as another forest fire causing evacuations.)

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15

Father, how deep is the well
of compassion,
I wonder?
Praises, so much deeper than me.
For the volume of human suffering
we can view
at a glance
is overwhelming.
It’s mind-numbing.
Yet the depth of your caring
for us is limitless.
We can draw on that which we lack.
We can weep with the suffering,
for that which we draw on
is deeper than we.

© Joel Tipple 11/8/2018