Read: Luke 6:43-45

The good news needs to be repeated...one more time! Jesus has been resurrected from the dead, confirming that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You have heard me say that for the last several posts. And if you are a Christ-follower, you are a slave—a servant of King Jesus (cf. COL 1:13-14). So how do we live as slaves of Jesus? The immediate answer is that you do whatever His Royal Highness—the Savior—wants you to do? 

Yes, that’s an easy thing to say, but it is much more complicated to put into practice. That is why I have been drawing your attention to the Sermon on the Plain, as recorded in Luke 6:20-49. This sermon doesn't tell us everything we need to do, but it does give us enough information to walk faithfully with the King every single day. And we have been learning that one of the things King Jesus wants us to do is to not “judge” other people. The word “judge” refers to the practice of criticizing people in non-moral areas. Yes, there are times when we must be discerning, especially when it comes to the revealed will and ways of God. However, “judgmentalism” is the action of criticizing people for the way they do things or for opinions they may hold—without having any moral authority to do so. 

So how do we rise above this horrible, demeaning sin in obedience to King Jesus? Take a look at Luke 6:43-45. It’s only three verses, so read it through a couple of times. At first the words seem out of place with what Jesus has been talking about. But He is actually adding a deeper rationale behind why we are critical of other people. In verses 43 & 44 Jesus uses an analogy from nature. His point is that trees produce what is in keeping with their nature. At the very core of a tree’s nature is a genetic code that guarantees a certain by-product. Fig trees produce figs. Grape vines produce grapes. But you will never find figs or grapes on thorn or bramble bushes. The reason has to do with what is “inside” and programmed by the plant’s nature.

But the main point of what Jesus is saying is found in verse 45. You will want to notice that twice in the verse He makes mention of the “heart.” His application is that good or evil will come from us, depending on what is in the “storeroom” of a person’s heart. Don’t overlook that word “storeroom.” Perhaps your translation uses the word “treasury.” The picture being portrayed is that of an individual constantly collecting and constantly “storing” data from the experiences of life. Consequently evil words and actions come from the person who has been storing up evil thoughts for days and months. Angry behavior doesn’t just happen. It comes from the hurts and vindictive plans we have been harboring for years. And what’s the result? We judge, criticize, put down, and dismiss other people! 

So how can we obey Jesus and change? It will only happen when we change the kinds of things we are putting into our hearts (our thoughts and meditations). Or to put it another way: a judgmental spirit will be eliminated when we fill our hearts with righteous thoughts. And just where do these righteous thoughts come from? God has given us all we need for life and godliness. Once you realize that you are “judgmental” you would be wise to confess your sin to God. Then start reading and meditating on His Word daily! But don’t simply read the Word. Memorize it. Review it throughout the day. Complement what you are reading by listening to Christian music that is edifying and God-focused. And by all means surround yourself with people who will direct your thoughts back to the living Christ, who is your King and Savior. 

So if you want to rise above a critical spirit, store up righteous thoughts in the storeroom of your heart. Not only will you honor your King, but you will also be able to eliminate a judgmental spirit from your life.

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