Judge No Man
by Jennifer Willis
(Provident Living Today)
I asked God what I could do to come unto him. He answered me with a lesson on judging. Here’s what I learned.
In the story of the woman taken in adultery Jesus showed me that he is slow to judge. He is the only one that has the right to judge, and he avoids it whenever possible. – John 8:3-11
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Other scriptures started coming to me.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
1 Peter 4: 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Alma 41: 15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.
Moroni 7: 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
Doctrine & Covenants 82:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.
Doctrine & Covenants 82:23 Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. Peace be with you; my blessings continue with you.
Here’s what I heard. We are all judged by the same law but not according to the same criteria. We set the terms of our judgment when we judge others.
I saw myself at the judgment bar of God. He was looking at something in his hand and said, “Ok, Jennifer, let’s see how you want me to judge you. Let’s look at how you judge others.”
I didn’t want him to go any further. I fell down on my knees and begged for mercy saying, “Oh, please Lord don’t judge me like that.” Love and forgiveness came flooding into my heart. I could see that I could open the door for the Savior to be merciful to me if I was merciful to others. Aftermath—
Now, I knew that I didn’t want to judge, but I found myself judging 100 times a day. I didn’t realize that I had such a problem. If I stopped judging, I might not have very much to think about.
I prayed for help. The Lord gave me the antidote. Secret acts of goodness and service cures a judging heart. Whenever my head would go off on judging someone, I would look for quiet acts of goodness that I could give.
Because the dance routine changed, Satan stopped tempting me with a flood of judgments. He would push my button to judge, and to escape my judging heart, I would go out and serve. I wasn’t serving because the people needed it. I was serving because my judging heart needed it.
It feels better not to judge. It brings greater peace.
John 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true . . .