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A Smelly Judgement

Daily Devotional for April 4, 2020

Read: MATTHEW 7:1-5; JAMES 4:11-12

Bible version changes do not affect the Key audio or "Today's Key Verse," below.

"Dad, you won't believe what happened at school!" exclaimed

Myah. She ran ahead of her brother and plopped her school bag onto the kitchen table.

"Tell me about it," said Dad as he opened the fridge. "Do you want a glass of milk?"

"No, thank you!" said Caden, making a sour face. "I'm done with milk for today!"

"Me too," said Myah. She grinned at her brother. "So, Dad, you know how Caden's been complaining about a funny smell around his locker at school?"

Dad nodded and looked at Caden. "Grant's locker is next to yours, and you think he needs to clean it out because everyone in that area is complaining, right? Did you find out what he had in it that was causing the problem?"

"It was milk! Sour milk!" Myah blurted out. "But it wasn't Grant's. It was Caden's! He had left a half-full carton of milk in his locker."

"I forgot all about it," explained Caden, looking sheepish. "I set it on the shelf in my locker a week or two ago, and it got shoved way back behind some other stuff. So it turned sour."

"Yeah, and did it ever stink!" said Myah. "I can't believe Caden never noticed that the smell was coming from his own locker."

"I can't either, but I didn't," said Caden with a shrug. "I thought it was Grant's fault, but I should have checked my own locker."

"So you had smelly milk, and you made a smelly judgment," observed Dad. "Your sour milk is a good thing to keep in mind whenever you're tempted to judge other people for something they've done. It's easy for us to make smelly judgments by pointing a finger at someone else instead of looking at the problems in our own lives."

"But...what if we see somebody steal something? Or hurt someone?" Caden asked. "We have to make judgments sometimes, don't we?"

"Yes, there are times when we need to confront others about wrongdoing or tell someone in authority so they can help," said Dad. "But that doesn't give us a right to put ourselves above someone else. We're all sinners who need Jesus--He's the only perfect person who's ever lived. We need to leave the judging up to Him." MARY F. WATKINS

Are you quick to point a finger at others? Do you criticize the way they live or the things they do differently from what you think is right? It’s easier to point out other people’s shortcomings instead of your own, isn’t it? But that’s not how Jesus calls us to live. He died on the cross for all sin—including yours—and He’s the only one who can judge. Focus on living your own life and leave judgment to Him.


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