Daily Devotional: Psalms 17:1-5
1 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer--it does not rise from deceitful lips. 2 May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right. 3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. 4 As for the deeds of men--by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. 5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11 It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
I wonder at times how much our world would change if we spent as much time trying to encourage others as we do in passing judgment on them. Instead of criticizing them and finding fault with them, we could help them seek the way of the Lord and be faithful in service to him. In things that really don’t matter but are just our way of thinking, we could just leave them alone and let them do things their way. After all, our judgment has no real meaning and is not binding. It is the judgment of God that counts and it is right and final.
When we are struggling with things in our own life and when we don’t know which way to turn, we need someone to help carry our load. There are so many times that a kind word or a thoughtful gesture will inspire us to continue our task and to be faithful in our lives. We all have moments when our faith is vulnerable and weak and we need others praying for us. What a blessing to be told by others that they are remembering us in prayer! This is why Paul said we are to bear one another’s burdens and in so doing we fulfil the law of Christ.
Heavenly Father, give me wisdom to encourage and say what will lift up others and to keep my mouth closed when silence is needed. When it is necessary to point out the wrong of another, give me a spirit of compassion, a heart of love and words of mercy as I realize my own imperfections before you. Keep me from being arrogant or thinking my understanding is the standard for others. Use me in your service to do your will. I pray for those who are struggling to be faithful that you would give them strength and courage. Give healing to the sick and comfort to the grieving. I pray in the name of Jesus, my comfort and my strength.