Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged!
“For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you. 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.”
We may and should judge the brethren, but with caution. We are not to condemn and judge. And yet we are so fond of doing so! Whatever we don’t understand, we judge as wrong. All who have a different opinion about a Bible verse we judge as non-believers. All those who have different tastes and preferences are not normal. All who do something that is sin in our view are already condemned. We think very sweepingly, very simple-mindedly, one-tracked, in pigeonholes. As we once learned, so it must always be.
But Jesus warns us against this simple thinking! HE alone knows hearts and knows all motives and motivations. HE often has patience and compassion while we are already condemning.
When evil has happened to us, we often condemn the offender. And because it often happens in life, we have a whole list of people who have done evil to us. Then, when we have time, we sit and think of these things and wish bad things on these people. We don’t understand how it could have happened and we condemn the culprit. Then we slowly become bitter because our thoughts are always the same and there is no healing in us. We become suspicious and often self-pitying. We slowly isolate ourselves. And even worse, we become arrogant, proud and complacent. We see ourselves as better than the others. If this vicious circle is not stopped, we end up in lonely, bitter, depressed and full of accusations.
Jesus has the medicine for that: forgiveness. This is a decision of ours, a conscious decision. And we must stand by it when the enemy reminds us again of all that is evil. If we do not become master of this accusation alone, we have to look for a partner and pray together with him so that the devil’s spiral stops. Yes, sometimes we need help.
It helped me a lot when I realised that Jesus was also there in those bad situations, attacks, accidents and all. HE not only allowed it, but it is even part of HIS plan. We don’t always understand it, but He would certainly have prevented it if it had been harmful. That He is always and everywhere, the Lord who is above these things, that helped me.
Jesus, I have given You my bitterness. You have forgiven and You want me to forgive. Yes, I forgive! What You forgive me for is worse than what I have to forgive. Help me with this, dear Lord!