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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Do not jud­ge – be mer­ci­ful

Vieraskieliset / In-english
10.5.2017 8.36

Few pe­op­le think that they jud­ge ot­hers. As hu­mans, ho­we­ver, we tend to eva­lu­a­te pe­op­le and phe­no­me­na, and these eva­lu­a­ti­ons are like jud­ge­ments made wit­hout re­al­ly thin­king.

Je­sus ma­kes us see that our eva­lu­a­ti­ons of ot­her pe­op­le are of­ten far from cor­rect. We of­ten al­so for­get that we are our­sel­ves in the same boat. We may re­a­li­ze on­ly af­ter­wards that in some ot­her si­tu­a­ti­on we have ac­ted just as imp­ru­dent­ly as the pe­op­le we are cri­ti­ci­zing.

It is good that Je­sus tel­ls us not to jud­ge ot­hers. Some pe­op­le may feel that be­lie­vers jud­ge those who be­lie­ve and live dif­fe­rent­ly. It is true that we can­not ac­cept li­fes­ty­les and choi­ces that are cont­ra­dic­to­ry to God’s word and the inst­ruc­ti­ons of the Holy Spi­rit.

But we as well as ot­hers should be ab­le to dis­cuss dif­fe­rent views const­ruc­ti­ve­ly. Qu­ar­rels, ac­cu­sa­ti­ons and ex­ces­si­ve blunt­ness do not help. We must ac­cept the fact that each per­son has the right to a li­fes­ty­le of their own choi­ce, as long as they do not break the law or hurt ot­hers.

Re­pen­tan­ce ma­kes us see the truth

If so­me­o­ne li­ves cont­ra­ry to God’s will, we can think that he does so unk­no­wing­ly in un­be­lief. (1 Tim. 1:13). If we are ab­le to free­ly dis­cuss with such a per­son, we can so­ber­ly point out the pros­pects ope­ned up by li­ving faith. Ho­we­ver, on­ly re­pen­tan­ce and per­so­nal faith make an un­be­lie­ving per­son comp­re­hend the truth, as we can see in what hap­pe­ned to Saul.

Jud­ge­ment does not warm our he­art, nor does it open the way to mer­ci­ful God. Grace, on the ot­her hand, te­ac­hes us to re­noun­ce un­god­li­ness and world­ly pas­si­ons (Tit. 2). It al­so gi­ves us the po­wer to cor­rect our er­rors.

Saul, who was la­ter cal­led Paul, is an examp­le of how a self-righ­te­ous per­son may see many faults in be­lie­vers and yet be unab­le to see the “log in his own eye”. It is good that God can help each of us to see our own short­co­mings first.

It is hap­py to for­gi­ve

It is not al­wa­ys ea­sy to for­gi­ve. It is es­pe­ci­al­ly dif­fi­cult to for­gi­ve if one feels per­so­nal­ly of­fen­ded. It is not ea­sy to let go of the fee­ling of of­fen­se. And we al­so have our hu­man pride. But Je­sus ex­horts us to be re­a­di­ly mer­ci­ful. The re­a­di­ness to show mer­cy and com­pas­si­on su­re­ly ri­ses from the ex­pe­rien­ce of ha­ving been per­so­nal­ly for­gi­ven much.

If a per­son for­gets his own sin­ful­ness and we­ak­ness, he may be de­man­ding and mer­ci­less to­ward his neigh­bors. This was the case with the king’s ser­vant, who was ruth­less to his co-ser­vant, alt­hough he had been him­self for­gi­ven a lot (Matt. 18).

We so­me­ti­mes need time and the mind of pra­yer be­fo­re our he­art sof­tens to for­gi­ve. It is, ho­we­ver, im­por­tant to for­gi­ve. If we re­fu­se to for­gi­ve so­me­o­ne el­se, it is pos­sib­le that we will not be for­gi­ven, eit­her. It is hap­pier to for­gi­ve and to feel free than to feed one’s he­art with bit­ter­ness.

Text: Ila­ri Kin­nu­nen

Sour­ce: Päi­vä­mies 24/2016

Trans­la­ti­on: S-L. L.

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä nu­me­ros­sa 10.5.2017