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Soften the Sentence

Daily Reading: John 8

Scripture Focus: Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8.7)

Devotional Thought: I'm not sure if I want to laugh or cry when I watch the hypocrisy of pundits, condemning or justifying others based on political party. Political theater is pretty entertaining sometimes, isn't it? One thing that you can count on is that you better be careful what you say for sooner or later you are going to have to eat those words! Sadly, however, I think politicians today have developed an immunity to the 'taste' of their own inconsistency.

Thankfully, the players in the drama of John 8 were able to grasp their own sin before they grasped rocks to throw at a sinful woman. In a rare fit of honesty, the angry mob had to admit that they weren't perfect either, that they really had no right to judge the poor woman before them.

Aren't you thankful that you don't have to be the judge of others? In this complex world, it's hard enough to judge actions let alone motives. The only one I can even get close to judging accurately is myself. And, then I have to be careful that I judge not by myself but by God's Word.

There is only one person who ever lived without sin. That, of course, is Jesus Christ. He is the only One who can judge adequately and accurately. And he will, for the Bible says that God, "has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead" (Acts 17.31).

So, the next time you are tempted to judge another, turn the magnifying glass back on yourself. I think that will soften the sentence!

Prayer: Father, help me to heed the words of Jesus: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Please forgive me when I fail to live up to that ideal. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 9 Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD, exulting in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, "O LORD, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?" 11 Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. 12 They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft. 13 But I, when they were sick-- I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. 14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning. 15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered; they gathered together against me; wretches whom I did not know tore at me without ceasing; 16 like profane mockers at a feast, they gnash at me with their teeth. 17 How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions! (Psalms 35:9-17)

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