God, I’ve been judgmental…

“If you judge other people, then you will find that you, too, are being judged. Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.” Matthew 7: 1-2 (The Voice) 

Class Poverty Prayer
clay plate with two flowers


Jesus rubbed shoulders with all sorts. He didn’t have beef with crooks and thieves, extremists and extortionists, soldiers and the sexually promiscuous. Far from it- kind, forgiving, understanding was his attitude. The people who sneered down their noses at others well, that was a whole different ballgame. Nothing quite got up Jesus’ hooter like those quick to write their neighbours off. That should tell us something about how seriously God takes it when we too play judge and jury over others. 

Sometimes our attitudes catch us off guard. Our neighbours make choices, say things or behave in ways we don’t like and WALLOP! Our inner judge brings down the gavel on them! Where did that thought come from? I thought I was better than that. Other times we blatantly bad-mouth someone. Either should take us to prayer.  

Our urban and lower-resourced communities are frequently judged more harshly for their choices. For example, people on lower incomes may be judged negatively for owning a large television, whereas that same item owned by someone with a higher income would be deemed acceptable, heck, even essential. This example comes from a celebrity chef and food campaigner who once told the Radio Times, ‘…I find it quite hard to talk about modern-day poverty. You might remember that scene…with the mum and the kid eating cheese and chips out of a styrofoam container, and behind them is a massive f****** TV. It just didn’t weigh up.’ It’s all too easy to jump down on people and find faults. Especially when we don’t understand their bigger picture. But if we don’t want that critical spirit ricocheting back in our faces, we’d do well to take a leaf out of Jesus’ book. Patience. Kindness. Understanding. 


Let’s pray… 


Forgive my fault-finding and quickness to pick on people,
where I have jumped to conclusions and not seen the full picture.
Forgive me for thinking of myself higher than my neighbour.
I turn away from criticism and I break partnership with a judgmental mindset.
Help me to see my neighbour as you see them.
Help me to assume the best of them.
Reform and reshape me to the best version of myself.
Thank you for your patience, kindness and understanding of me. 




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