Judging the Wicked

(Joshua Elder) #1

Followers of Jesus sometimes can be judgmental of those who struggle with sin. Wickedness in this world becomes something we believe that we as believers must stamp out through sheer force of will alone. We can become separated from the world as people who believe we are better than, holier than, greater than. However, Jesus serves as our example of how we deal with wickedness, waywardness and the lost. We give our lives for them. We too are lost sheep who have been found by Christ and the wickedness of others should not lift us up or separates us; but should draw us down into prayer. Charles Finney said this:

“Sometimes the conduct of the wicked drives Christians to prayer, breaks them down, and makes them sorrowful and tender-hearted, so that they can weep day and night, and instead of scolding the wicked they pray earnestly for them. Then you may expect a revival. Indeed, it is begun already. ”

Where has the revival that Finney spoke of begun? In our own hearts that experience the true love of God, the true love of Jesus. Until Christians begin to break for the broken we will not be as Christ who gave his life for us, the lost.

Have you been broken down by your sorrow for the lost?

Will you pray for a revival in your own heart?

(John Chetta) #2

I love this one. All too often we allow the sins of others to lift us up in our own minds, almost like the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. If we’re honest, we’re all sinners treading water in this sea of temptation and distraction. Those of us who are better swimmers should be helping the drowning, but instead sometimes we’re stepping on their shoulders to try and push ourselves further out out of the water. Of course it doesn’t work that way, and we just end up pushing them further down. I pray for the wicked and am thankful for the forgiveness and grace God consistently shows me, a sinner.

(Jennifer Judson) #3

I think there’s a Pharisee that comes to light in all of us from time to time. Each time I read, study, or hear the Parable of the Prodigal Son, I have to ask myself – who am I this week, the prodigal or the older brother? Praise God he has grace for both.

There was a friend I worked with for over a decade. We loved each other as good friends, but also had a difficult working relationship at times. V. is very sensitive, dramatic and demands her own way. I always had a tremendous need to be vindicated as right (of course I usually was [said with a smile]). So we were too often at loggerheads. Everyone else gave V. her own way, because it was easier. You know that old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease–that was the situation. I on the other hand feel the path of least resistance often leads nowhere, so I was the one who often forced her to confront truth.

One particular time I was so distraught over the situation, I would say I was literally being tormented. And I mean that in a spiritual sense. I prayed and prayed about it, still I could not sleep for 3 days. During that time we were doing a prayer initiative at our church where a group of staff and congregation met in the sanctuary every morning for prayer. On the morning after my third sleepless night, right after leaving the sanctuary, God spoke into my heart, “are you willing to be broken?” Being broken certainly wasn’t anything on my mind. It gave me chills and a very special feeling. It was also a question I wasn’t all that keen on answering.

From that experience I’ve learned a great lesson that being loving is more important than being right. Not that there aren’t moments where we need to stand up for truth, but most of the time that was not the situation where I was fighting my corner. That lesson has helped me develop patience with my aging parents. As their memory is slipping they often remember things wrongly–who did what and when they did it kind of things. Now I’m able to nod and agree and allow them their misremembered memory as a thing of enjoyment, without trying to correct or enlighten. I’m also better with friends and other loved ones. I’ve found people will go deeper with you when they feel safe that you aren’t seeking to judge or correct them at every turn. Imagine that.

Whenever we are finding ourselves in a judgmental place and our inner Pharisee is taking over, we absolutely need to ask the Lord to do a new work in our hearts. Yes, I will pray for revival in my heart.