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Do you ever have days where it’s extra hard to show love and kindness to those around you?  On these days, your struggle isn’t limited to just strangers from overseas who are trying to help with your customer service inquiry, it even extends to those in your family, the very people you personally know and love.  How can that be??

Gosh, you find yourself judging everything: the way your child chews their food, the place your spouse put their shoes when they walk in the door, the lackluster “hello” they manage to mumble when seeing you for the first time after being apart for 10 hours.  You’re annoyed.  By everything and with everyone.  And that’s just a small example, of a short period of time, in which you were irritated by and judged “stupid things” that don’t even matter. 

What about the times you’ve judged someone’s choices to cheat, lie, or steal – you know, the “big” things?  I hate to admit it, but I’ve had no shortage of being Ms. Judgypants in my day – and here’s the kicker – the stuff I find myself judging, usually doesn’t pertain to me…like at all!  

“Why did she cut her hair like that?”

“Are you serious?!  She cheated on her husband, I thought she was better than that!”

“Why would they buy a dog?  They’re never home to take care of it.”

“They bought their 7 year old a cell phone!?”

Although my mind still reverts to old, bad habits at times, I do a much better job of reflecting on Jesus’s love for me when Ms. Judgypants starts to emerge, which usually stops “her” right in “her” tracks. 

And in lieu of unkind and unloving thoughts, quite the opposite start to surface, followed by peace.  Thoughts about how Jesus doesn’t judge me, get annoyed with me, or get mad at me – for anything – and even though His head may be shaking aggressively in a tisk-tisk-finger-pointing way in disapproval for the choices I’ve made with my words or actions, He accepts me.  He forgives me.  And, He loves me.  No.  Matter.  What.

So whether as the judger or the sinner (Lord knows we’ve been both in our life!), let’s reflect on a lesson from the Book of John today, where a woman who was caught committing an adulteress act was brought before Jesus in a tattletale-like fashion.  Despite her sinful choice, Jesus didn’t turn from her.  He didn’t judge her, mock her, or disown her even though she disobeyed a very clear instruction that God emphasized time and time again in the bible.


He gave permission to the teachers of the law and Pharisees (those who were snitching) to “be the first to throw a stone at her,” but only if they were “without sin” themselves (John 8:7, NIV).  Not one person took action.  Instead, one by one they walked away until all who was left was Jesus and the adulterer.  (Wow!  What an image, huh?

When it was just the two of them, Jesus didn’t lash out, lecture, or criticize her.  He simply asked her a rhetorical question about where everyone went and said, “Has no one condemned you?” (v. 10).  He proceeded to remind her that He doesn’t condemn either, and then directed her to, “go” and “leave [her] life of sin” (v. 11). 

So, not only did He not outwardly judge her, He made it known to all who were there that they shouldn’t judge either.  No one is perfect and sin is sin, regardless how big or small or justifiable it may seem.

Friends, when you find yourself starting to be a Ms. (or Mr.) Judgeypants…redirect your thoughts.

Then…imagine Jesus’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness – even if we cheat, lie, or steal; and despite the way we chew our food, or whether we tidily put our stuff “where it belongs,” or whether our long, tiring day prevents us from cheerily greeting our spouse.  That short pause and reflection should be just enough to move us AWAY from judgmental and unloving thoughts and TOWARD the person God desires us to be: A person who loves their neighbor as much as they love themselves (Leviticus 19:18, NIV).