James 2:12-13 “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (NIV)
Jesus uniquely saw people. He noticed those that no one else noticed; excused Himself from “religious” and other leaders to minister to sinners; broke cultural barriers by talking to shunned people groups and females; ministered to the dangerous; took time to encourage children when they had nothing for Him; and reached out to those long forgotten by society who were excluded due to their conditions of life. Jesus’ disciples were constantly irritated by Jesus’ “people distractions.” Rulers were insulted that Jesus would talk to people lower than they. People were offended that their “religious” and cultural norms were not being kept. Society was frightened that Jesus was reaching out to untouchable people. As amazing as Jesus was in showing love and compassion, you are commanded to walk and live as He lived. John 15:12 commands you to love this way, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Your task of living and acting as Jesus is often hampered by pride, judgment, and self-interest. God wants you to see others through the eyes of Jesus and not through your beliefs, cultural norms, needs, and standards. Can you see others for who they are in God’s eyes and what God is doing in their lives? Can you love others as special creations of God, as unfinished sculptures who are being fashioned by the same God who created them? Can you be a tool in the hands of the God of creation who not only loves you, but also wants to further sculpt you in His image? Do not let judgment trump mercy; but let mercy be an opening in your life to see what God wants to do in the life of another person. Instead of judging another, see the situation as an opportunity for God to not only sculpt the life of another, but also an opportunity for God to further sculpt your life into His perfect work!
Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” (NIV)