“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?  How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Matthew 7:1-5

 

Today, Dave simply encourages us to consider Jesus’ call not to judge but instead to forgive:

Reflecting on this passage, we need to ask ourselves some challenging questions: Are we guilty of criticising others more readily than offering them forgiveness?  Do we see their sins all too clearly whilst ignoring our own?  Can we even get close to what Jesus did by offering forgiveness in the face of persecution, brutality, misunderstanding, pain, and blatant evil?

Jesus was a man who kept the company of men
Till he got betrayed by one of them
And surely that must have been the biggest sin
But in his final hour, he even forgave him
And what he asked you then, well I now ask you too
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
For they too have their cross to bear
In your love, please let them share
For Jesus would have understood
And brought them home to you.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Ralph McTell

 

 

Questions

Justice is important.  But does wanting what’s right ever stop us from being compassionate, people able to forgive?

Can you remember a time a person forgave you?  What difference did their forgiveness make in your own life?

Who do you need to be more forgiving or compassionate towards today?

 

Prayer

A prayer inspired by the opening verse of the great hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind:

 

Heavenly Father, loving father of the human race, creating each person unique yet still in their Father’s image, please forgive all our foolish and selfish thoughts, words and actions.  Through your Holy Spirit help us truly to repent, aligning our thoughts and intentions with your will, cleansing our mind of all unworthy thoughts.  May we live lives guided by you, loving our neighbour and being generous in our service of others and you.  Deepen our faith, increase our longing for your truth, that we may praise you forever, sharing our faith with others.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for five friends

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.