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Don't Judge & Don't Be Judged

Don't judge, and don't be judged!

Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. (Matthew 7:1 AMP)

Last night, as I watched TV with one of my many play sons, the scripture Matthew 7:1 dropped in my spirit like a boulder. Of course, I immediately read it - internally pondering its purpose because it did not instantly speak to me. I opened a bible app on my phone with a preselected Amplified rendering; there were a few words like neon lights flashing on the phone. Those words were: criticize, superiority, and unfair.

My sleep pattern has really been disturbed as I have been dealing with severe debilitating headaches that make it very hard to work or sleep. I woke up about 1:15 A.M. this morning. I did a little meditating on the Word and my life (which did not go so well,

we'll talk about it later) when all at once, Matthew 7:1 returned to the forefront of my mind. I initially took it as a preemptive warning. I thought that I would need to be on guard against criticizing people, humbling myself as I am dealing with people, and being unfair in God's book by drawing opinions about stuff I don't have all the facts to. It made sense as I thought back to an incident earlier in the day. I was sorely displeased with a drive-through worker's abysmal customer service. See, he made a personal statement about the customer before me in my presence to another worker. I considered it very unprofessional an

d clearly it identified some areas where he is stuck in his personal growth and development. Or at least, that is how I judged him looking to be in his late 20s working at this establishment! Just wrong!

I have no personal knowledge of why he is working there. I know nothing of his educational history. While I do consider his statement unprofessional, I don't know what motivated his comment. I KNOW nothing but reached several conclusions, thereby classifying him as an individual of unworthiness. I don't know what potentials he possess, just the unfair conclusion I derived - another dumb brother! I said to myself, "Ed Johnson, you have got to work on that."

I thanked Holy Ghost for pointing out my shortcoming in this matter and thought that was the end but the Holy Ghost had one more ace up His sleeve! He said

, "Don't do it to people and don't let people do it to you!" I told you it was 1:00 in the morning, but it was as if the sun had broken the midnight sky all at once. I could see the prison cells I had been living in because of the judgments of people. Just like I had done to that young man. The only difference is, I had no power to influence his life with my criticisms, arrogance and unfair conclusion. I have been negatively impacted by the actions of family, friends, associates and strangers! Of course, no one can control people's actions but you sure can permit those actions to guide your life - influence your life. I finally realized that I have allowed people who have heard, thought they saw, or thought they knew to cause me to feel poorly about myself - and in some very strategic areas. I am living someone else's version of "me" because I allowed them to judge me - thereby reshaping and reframing me.

I am not one of those people that feels the need to use social platforms to speak passively to people that I should be speaking with one on one. This is an authentic epiphany on my part! See, sometimes we have no idea why people entreat us as they do and we spend a lot of time trying to "figure out" why they don't like us, losing ourselves in the process. I told my wife, Marilyn, the other day, "I am not nice like I used to be." She went on to talk to me about how life can change us, then asking, "What are you going to do about it?" I could not give her a truthful answer because I had no idea where the wheels fell off the wagon.

The Holy Ghost helped me last night! You can't make people feel what they don't, can't, or won't. Do you! (I say that with all humility and lowliness of spirit.) Don't be judgmental towards people and don't live the judgment of other people. Be strong as Jesus was when He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" in Matthew 16. Don't let the wrong answer trip you up; reframe you, reshape you. Don't let rejection become your friend. People will not always understand who you are, what you are doing and why God has you there. Work unto Him, live unto Him and stay free. Judgment (criticizing and condemning others). Don't do it to others, and don't let others do it to you!

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