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Matthew 7:1-14, The Golden Rule

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
— Matthew 7:7

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, February 10, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

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Main Idea: We can become less judgmental when we ask God for help in being accepting and patient with ourselves.

People in Jesus’ day were quite concerned with what everyone else was doing. Were others following the law? Were they behaving properly? Were they doing anything scandalous? Jesus told them to stop judging others and start looking inside themselves for change.

Things haven’t changed much in that regard. We are still preoccupied with what others are doing. Which politicians have lied, cheated, and stolen to get to the top? Which celebrities have had sex with whom? Which neighbor is a hoarder, an addict, a divorcee, transgender, Muslim? We judge others while ignoring our own failings. We put ourselves before our kids, we cheat on our taxes, we take long lunches on the company dime. Maybe we have issues with addiction, mental illness, unhealthy relationships. Who are we to judge?

Jesus doesn’t just condemn us for judging others. Jesus gives us a way out. First, seek a better life. Look for ways to build a solid ethical foundation. Ask God for help in building a life we can be proud of. God will certainly help those seeking a less judgmental perspective.

An interesting thing happens when we start to work on ourselves. Gradually, our judgment of others lessens— kind of automatically. It’s really hard to judge another’s gossiping when we acknowledge that we too, are guilty of gossip. The more we see the log in our own eye, the less we see the tiny speck in another’s. We develop a tolerance, a patience toward others if first we have learned to be accepting and patient with ourselves.


 
Earlier Event: February 9
Matthew 8:1-17, Healings of Jesus
Later Event: February 11
Psalm 37:16-18, Psalm