January 3

Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1

Have you fully realised the evil of judging others? When we judge another person, we are at the same time expressing a judgment about ourselves. We are declaring that we were never in need of forgiveness or grace; we have never fallen or been in danger of falling; we have always had the purest motives. In short, we have never repented because we have never needed to! The heart that judges looks down; the heart that judges has not yet seen its own sin; the heart that judges is unrepentant. When once we begin to look at ourselves, we become aware of the plank in our own eye, and we realise what fools we have made of ourselves. When once we truly repent, our eyes are washed, and we begin to look with understanding and mercy on others who fail; we begin to esteem others as higher than ourselves. This is not an attitude we can adopt by our own will – it is the result of the grace that comes to wash and refresh us when we humble ourselves. Think of different ones you have been tempted to criticise or look down on, and let the Holy Spirit give you love for them. Repentance is a word of refreshing to those who know its power. By it we discover afresh the love of God in us; and it is not far off, though it may cost us our dignity and pride to stoop and drink of the Lord’s mercies afresh today. There is always a stream of living water flowing for those who will kneel and drink.