Monday, June 13, 2011

A Siskel and Ebert motto....thumbs up or down?

I use to evaluate which movies I would attend according to what Siskel and Ebert had to say about them. If they gave a movie a "thumbs up"...I would tend to want to see it. But if the movie got a Siskel and Ebert "thumbs down", I couldn't be convinced the movie was worth my time and money.

Isn't it funny that we often base our decisions on what other people think! Have you ever considered that Siskel and Ebert may have a different view of things than other movie goers? It doesn't make it right or wrong, it just makes it different. They really don't have the last word on what is acceptable viewing for ALL movie goers.

The same is true when we try to evaluate people. Often times, we are like Siskel and Ebert, giving people a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down". We seem to be experts at evaluating people. Some people think they have the uncanny ability to read other people's minds, evaluate their actions and judge their motives. There is a great danger when we do this, it causes us to become judgemental. Such people can begin to have critical spirits that will only destroy and divide. This is shaky ground to be on. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God says that man looks at the outward appearance while God looks at the heart.

Judging is not something new. The Bible is full of examples of people judging others. There were the Jews in the wilderness. (Numbers 16) And then there were the Pharisees, in Matthew 22. What about the Prodigals sons older brother? (Luke 15) In Numbers 12, God severely judged Miriam's judgemental spirit against Moses wife. Just to name a few.

There is a clear distinction between "judging" and having a "judgemental spirit". Christians should be able to judge what is good and what is evil so they can discern God's will for their lives. Proverbs 27:17 also instructs believers to have discernment in pointing out our brother's sin in a loving manner. Some of us stop reading once we read the "pointing out" and we don't grasp the "in a loving manner" part.

This past Sunday, I heard a preacher make the following statement... "Instead of mentoring, we become critics!" - Pastor Matt In the book of Matthew, Jesus said that people cannot remove the speck from someone else's eye when they have a plank in their own eye.

"Judge not that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Matthew 7)

Jesus is speaking against having a critical spirit. Judgemental people are critical, condescending, unloving and unforgiving. They are more focused on pointing out the faults of others rather than in helping people with their problems. I agree wholeheartedly with what Pastor Matt said, I see more and more people who instead of reaching down and helping others, they kick them when they are down. Instead of encouraging and mentoring, they take on the Siskel and Ebert motto and give a big fat "thumbs down!"

Being judgemental of others is clearly a heart issue, it can be a heart attitude that blinds people to their own problems. If someone is quick to point out someones sin or wrong doing,in a non loving manner, isn't being judgemental just as much a sin?

You might have a critical spirit if you are quick to point the finger and slow to bend your knee. God is not pleased with criticism, especially of others, He is a God of love and He desires for us to love others. Even if they are different from us. Putting others first, praying for them and loving them unconditionally is a good start to overcoming having a critical and judgemental spirit.

What kind of Siskel and Ebert attitude do you have? A thumbs up (mentoring) or thumbs down (criticism)?

1 comment: said...

I like the distinction between judging and having. judgmental spirit. Too often we lump them both together, when God has purpose in one but another is sin. Too often I have found myself being critical in spirit. Thanks for reminding us how ugly that is.