Wednesday, July 22nd

Wednesday, July 22nd

Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish .... The first to speak in court sounds right—until the cross-examination begins. Proverbs 18:13,17

In our devotionals so far this week we have zeroed in on two contrasting approaches to relationships with other people. On the one hand is the person who is nurturing toward other people and on the other hand is the person who is judgmental toward other people. The person who is nurturing uses sound judgment to see accurately the good and the bad in the lives of other people. Their nurturing spirit helps them care deeply about the welfare of other people so that they do their God given part to nurture others toward the good and away from the bad through encouragement and admonishment. The person who is judgmental does not use sound judgment and therefore they inaccurately see others so that they view them in a totally negative light. Their judgmental spirit causes them not to care at all about the welfare of other people so that they mistreat the people in their lives through critical, harsh, and even vindictive attitudes, actions, and words.

These are worst and best cases. How often do we find someone whose overall approach to relationships is being nurturing toward other people? How often do we find someone whose overall approach to relationships is being judgmental toward other people? More often than not most of us are a mix between the two. Sometimes we are very judgmental and sometimes we are very nurturing. Sometimes we are partly judgmental and partly nurturing at the same moment. We can all relate to our Proverbs passage above. We don't always spout off, but sometimes we do. We don't always latch on to one side of the story, but sometimes we do. What a great need we have for patience and waiting so that we get the entire picture of things.

When we are nurturing, we are spiritual. When we are judgmental. we are not spiritual. This brings us back to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to provide help and nurture to those who need it. It is also the Holy Spirit who helps us to care deeply about the spiritual welfare of others and frees us from the trap of being judgmental toward people. So where do we start? Our Proverbs passage shows us our need for patience. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. So, let's look to the Holy Spirit today for this one part of the help he offers. The Holy Spirit will make all the difference.

Lord, you have granted to me everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and I know that somehow it all comes to me through the Holy Spirit. Help me to be more in touch and in step with the Holy Spirit. Continue to transform me into a person who is nurturing and not judgmental. And for today, empower me with Divine patience in all my dealings with the people in my life.

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