“Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love with those who love you and keep your commandments, we have sinned and done wrong, acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.“Righteousness is on your side, O Lord, but open shame, as at this day, falls on us, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. Open shame, O Lord, falls on us, our kings, our officials, and our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Psalm 79:8-9,11, 13
Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
Let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
for your name’s sake.
Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.
Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
God tells us today not to judge others. It can be easy to judge when we hear about terrible crimes and sins, but when we are in the practice of judging, it is because we have first judged ourselves as being superior. Judgers take pride in their own strength or virtue without giving the glory to God.
When God looks at us, imagine how it would be if he saw only our sins. Even when we ourselves hear news reports, we see sin upon sin. Just looking at ourselves, we know that we are guilty of falling into sin repeatedly. If God did not look at us with love and mercy, what darkness would there be!
A loving parent knows that often, his child disobeys but the parent is not intent on keeping a count. A parent sees the good and perseveres in patience expecting that ultimately, the child will learn.
It is God’s nature to forgive and to endure with us in spite of sins. We have no reason to fear that God will not forgive us as long as we go to him in sincere contrition and repentance.
Only pride, believing that we have no sin and therefore, no need for forgiveness, can prevent us from receiving God’s mercy. When we acknowledge our sin, we are quickly forgiven and freed from guilt. Then we can move on and be healed and strengthened. When we acknowledge our own sin and pride, receiving God’s mercy, we will not judge others so easily.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to know my own sins and the root of pride so that I can humbly repent and admit my faults to you. May I then receive your forgiveness and healing and know the joy of being loved by you. May I live my life in obedience to you and listening to you, so that I may show the same love to others. Amen.