Monday, July 20th

Monday, July 20th

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. Colossians 1:9-12

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? Matthew 7:1-3

Notice the nurturing spirit with which the Apostle Paul speaks to his readers in our Colossians passage. He wants their lives to "produce every kind of good fruit." He wants them to "live in the light." What the Apostle Paul wants in the lives of others is present in his own life. In other words he is living fully for God and he delights in helping other people do the same. The people around you are either fellow travelers on the journey of living fully for God or they are ones who have the potential to begin living fully for God through redemption in Christ. The people around you need all the help they can get.

God has placed people in your life and they deserve the blessing of you being someone who helps them in their response to God and not you being to them one who hinders their being able to respond well to God. You are never justified in mistreating other people. If you are antagonistic toward another person in your attitude, actions, or words, you are wrong. An "antagonistic" approach to relationships with other people rather than a "nurturing" approach, is what Jesus is nixing in our Matthew passage. Treating people well is what you are here for. You treat people well when your attitudes, actions, and words are nurturing and not antagonistic.

This is the third week in the series on the "Tongue." Good judgment and discernment are not in question, but mistreating other people because you have allowed a critical, judgmental approach to relationships to permeate your heart and life is very much in question. This week is all about becoming a "nuturing" person in attitude, actions, and words who constantly pursues the welfare of other people (encouragement and admonishment). Of course this means that being an "antagonistic" person in attitude, actions, and words must cease. There is no justification for mistreating other people. A critical, judgmental approach to relationships must be forsaken.

Lord, I admit that this is tough. Getting relationships wrong comes so easy. Please deliver me from a critical, judgmental spirit. I want to be someone who really cares about the welfare of the people around me. Whatever it takes, Lord, I give myself to you and the journey of becoming a helpful and nurturing person.

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