In the realm of unforgiveness and its symptoms most people know the basics: resentment, bitterness and or anger but did you know there are almost 40 symptoms of unforgiveness? Yes! And I’m sure there are more I just need to dig deeper in the Word to find them.
Judgment is one symptom that keeps people in bondage and not in a good way. I’m not certain there is actually a good bondage but I digress. Sure one may be able to judge the good apples from the bad at the grocery store; however, the focus in that particular judgment is finding the best apple therefore the focus isn’t on the negative component of judgment in the manner in which it is a symptom for discussion. We know in John 7:24 it tells us, ‘Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.’ Judging the good apple isn’t just about the color.
So how does incorrect judgment operate in the life of an unforgiver? In 3 ways:
1. It keeps you biased. When someone is unforgiving there is a reason. Getting to the real reason is another blog altogether but for this one unforgiveness keeps the unforgiver only able to see people and situations from their own vantage point. The judgment comes in to play for the fact that those involved are not able to be judged fairly because of what is internally occurring in the heart of the unforgiver. Case in point: before I forgave my biological mother for abandoning me I hated her. (just being honest) I judged her for what she did to me because I was the victim; the child. I was not able or ready to hear or receive the truth of the situation because I was in judgment mode. She was a fat liar in my eyes. Once I forgave her my heart opened to hear the truth. What was the truth? That she was given an ultimatum to sell me to the case worker for 10k or he would change our appointment times so that we would not ever see each other. He during the early 70’s was buying and selling babies on the Canadian black market. Learning that changed everything! My judgment linked to unforgiveness kept me not knowing that and living in it. When you judge you show where you are and most of the time you really don’t even know what you are judging or how because of the bias that unforgiveness brings to your life. Oh and let’s not forget that the Word tells us to honor thy mother and father and I wasn’t doing that. One more strike against me! And now she co-hosts “Living in Forgiveness” the first Saturday of every month. Praise God!
2. It stunts your growth. If you claim to be a believer or follower of Christ and you allow unforgiveness to reign; you stunt your growth. You are blocking God from blessing you, you are not a blessing, you cannot be forgiven according to God’s Word in Matthew 6:14: ‘For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.’ If you are unforgiving then what does your future look like? For me; it looked as bleak as my past! Perhaps you are simply reliving your past daily instead of living your future presently. If yes; it’s time to truly dig in and deal with unforgiveness and all of its symptoms. Not only this; if you just simply believe ‘I forgave’ because you said it 20 years ago but are still judgmental toward others with a critical spirit; then there is another clue. That’s your free fruit cup with lunch today! If you want to be used to to the full by God the best way to is removing internal clutter.
3. It serves as a distraction. Judgment and unforgiveness are both distractions. Period. When people allow judgment in their hearts where is their focus? On everyone and everything else right? I recently shared about the judgment againt the pastor for asking for financial assistance in the purchase of a new jet to replace the one he already has and the amount of judgment upon that man is incredible! It’s incredible how many people have time to judge what others are or are not doing according to what they think personally yet have not enough time to read the Bible daily. How does that even work?
Judgment keeps people off track and off focus. It keeps people moving in the wrong direction and not the God direction. How can you be moving in the God direction if you are spending your time judging what others are doing? Ask yourself this: are you more concerned with what your siblings are doing than where you are going? Are you more concerned about who your ex-spouse is dating than where you are going? Are you more concerned with what this ministry is asking for then what your time is with the Lord? Don’t let judgment be what your focus is or becomes.
As forgiveness becomes your lifestyle your heart will change. As your heart changes you will see people different. I see my mother much different than I did when we met. I hated her and now my love for her is as that of Jesus loving me. She is a work in progress as we all are and the wonderful news is that I am free. Forgiveness removed the judgment of negativity that was breeding to be able to live in love of others to see the beauty that truly does exist. It just took me a few decades to get there. Don’t follow that example but take to heart that it’s best to sow forgiveness and love and know that through it you are not only being obedient but demonstrating a living example of Christ. And if you claim to be a believer; isn’t that what you should live by?
For more about forgiveness watch “Living in Forgiveness” on Saturdays in Dallas channels 27 & 47.2. NY & NY new channel 49.1 Stream live at www.uanetwork.tvand watch previous episodes here: http://uanetwork.tv/uanon-demand/living-forgiveness-julie-blair/
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