Once again today I am challenged by this book of Matthew. There is so much to glean from it. I’ve never read this book before and had Jesus’ words and actions speak to me the way they are now. It truly is not about knowing what Jesus said and did, it is far more about transforming me in how I “speak and do”.
In the scripture Matthew 9:13 it says, “Go and learn what this means; I desire mercy and not sacrifice and sacrificial victims….” Joyce, in her writing, says that mercy is kindness and I know that kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. As I tie this scripture to yesterday’s message about “do not judge,” I hear a distinct command and that is to show mercy (kindness) instead of judgment.
A few weeks ago I had a lady talk to me about her husband. They are separated after many years of marriage. He had been sexually abused by an older cousin during his childhood and had many issues due to this not being addressed. She had sent him my book and he told her he was beginning to slowly read it. Recently, I talked again to this lady. During the talk I could see how her approach to his issues could be stifling to him rather than helpful. I wanted to tell her just what she ought to be saying and not saying–I was feeling judgment towards her and not kindness. I didn’t say much of anything except to acknowledge that God’s Work takes time. I know our paths will cross again soon, and this time I’m ready to talk without the sense of judgment. My word, she is judging herself too much already. Judgment has been replaced in my heart with mercy for her. I can sense kindness now after today’s devotional time with Jesus. A sad thing to have to admit, but it is true. I ask God to forgive my moment of judgment.