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Friday, October 18, 2013

Are You Judging Others?

Matthew 7:2 (NIV)
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

During the Jesus Movement in the 1970's many people out of the hippie generation met Jesus. They wore long hair and tattered clothing. Some had big holes in their pants. At one particular church the older saints complained, "We have all these people with long hair in our church." In those days it was called "ungodly" for a man to have long hair. People came to the pastor, saying, "You have to do something about these people with long hair. These guys are coming into the church and getting saved. They can't wear long hair anymore. It is ungodly." He replied, "No. I am not going to do anything about it except I am going to talk to them. I am not going to tell them they can't wear long hair."

The pastor met with the "hippies" and said, "I want you in the next week to ask the Holy Spirit why you are wearing long hair, and then we are going to talk."

A week later they met again. A number of them sat together. The pastor asked each one in the group, "What is God saying to you about your hair?" One person said, "Well, God is saying to me to cut the hair." Another person responded, "The Holy Spirit is telling me I can keep my hair the way it is."

After he had gone through the entire room and asked each person what God said, about 60 percent of the people said the Holy Spirit, by the grace of God, told them to cut their hair. Forty percent of the people had received instruction by the Holy Spirit to leave the hair the way it was.

Was God confused? He gave different instructions to one set of people.

Then this pastor asked a second question. He said, "Tell me the reason why the Holy Spirit told you to cut your hair." 60 percent of the people, without fail, said, "The reason the Holy Spirit told me to cut my hair was because I was angry with society, with politicians and I was angry with my mother and father. There was anger on the inside of me, and I let my hair grow because I wanted to make a statement against society. I wanted to stand up and say, `I will do whatever I want to do."'

Then he looked at the other 40 percent of them and said, "So, what about you? Why have you grown your hair long?" They said, "Because we like long hair. It's cool. It looks good."

God is not as concerned about style as we are. If you like long hair, keep long hair. But if the reason why you have long hair is rooted out of rebellion in your heart, then you need to cut it. This is the grace of God. We cannot judge another person because they do not act and talk like us.

But we say, "I am going to teach you the Word of God." Teaching someone else the Word of God involves teaching them to listen to the Holy Spirit. Then they will know what to do because their hearts have been molded and changed by that wonderful grace on the inside, the grace of God. When the grace of God has changed your heart you desire to pray. You desire to tithe because you want to give Him everything. Let the law of God be written on the inside of you. Let your heart speak.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would not judge others but instead look at them with our heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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