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Prayer Tip: Too Much Judgin’ and Not Enough Lovin’!

October 15, 2023

Daily Scripture

Matthew 13.31-33, Matthew 7.1-5 (NRSV)

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” (Matthew 13:33)

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For the judgment you give will be the judgment you get, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

Daily Reflection & Prayer

When we are getting ready to have guests over, I will ask my daughter to spend time cleaning up her mess and she will want to do everything but that task. That’s how I feel we are about judging. We were not asked to do it. Jesus has given us two assignments: love your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. We keep coming back saying, “I heard my assignment, but I don’t think you know how good I am at judging others. I would like to be put on judging.” We are told, “No, you are stationed on loving,” and there we are trying to judge everyone again. It’s almost funny when you think of it. We just can’t help ourselves.

We were made from love, and we are called to love. We have not been given the easy task but the one that can transform hearts and lives. Love requires a deeper spiritual level than the dualistic thinking of judging, which is why perhaps we go so quickly back to judging. Judging is easier for us.

Prayer is one of the few places I don’t find myself judging others. I just find myself praying for them. During that time with God, I feel released from judging whether my family member deserved the cold they got because they went out in the bad weather after I told them it wasn’t a good idea. I just pray that they will be well, and that feels so much better to me.

Judgment separates, love connects. Judgment leaves wounds, love is a healing balm. Judgment creates frustration, love creates peace. Judgment puts us out of alignment with God’s will, love aligns us with God’s perfect plan.

This week let’s pray for more love and less judgment. The first two prayer assignments will be EASY!

  • Pray for 5 neighbors by name (or if you don’t know their names, envision their homes in your mind) and pray for peace and God’s blessings in their home.
  • Pray for 5 friends that they will feel your love and the love of God surrounding them.
  • Pray (without judgment) for both sides of a political party system, a conflict, or a sports event. Pray for good things for both sides.

Lord, our brains are quick to judge and slow to love. Help us, through prayer, to untie some of the strong holds and desires to judge. Help us to seek, not to compete about who is right amongst ourselves, but to focus on making sure we are right with you seeking to love others the way you have loved us. Amen.

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Ashly Cooley

Ashly Cooley

This week's prayer tip is by Ashly Cooley. She has been on staff since 2015 and this is the best job she has ever had. She is passionate about serving the Lord, normalizing mental health care, and is a self-proclaimed bibliophile. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, extended family and friends as well as dancing badly and snuggling her dog, Bessie.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.