"Judge not, that you be not judged, for with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get back."
We love these words that Jesus spoke in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:12). But as with many of his lessons, this one is prone to misapplication. Many trip over it and rise from the dust to follow a different path. Others pull this arrow out of their quiver to fire back at judgmental Christians.
I recently came across a blog that said "Live each day like it's your last, and one day you'll be right." Someone might counter, "I live each day like I have all the time in the world, and so far, I've been right every time." Both of these observations are correct, but we recognize the wisdom in the first and the folly in the second. Time well spent is time cherished; time poorly spent leaves us with a stockpile of regret.
The beginning of January always carries with it certain rituals for me. I clean out my files, both paper and electronic, and replace the batteries in the smoke detectors. I review my insurance policies and start preparing my annual report to the IRS.
If you remember the story of the wise men from Matthew 2, you probably remember that they did something that might strike you as a little odd. They brought stupendously valuable gifts to a baby, gold and incense and myrrh. And these three kings, these powerful, influential, important men, bowed to a child.
While on a mission trip to Honduras, I visited a gift shop that featured handmade items from the local community. I wanted to support the economy of that village, still struggling to pull itself out of the mire left behind by Hurricane Mitch. Some rustic earthenware might be a nice addition to my ceramic collection, I thought. But there among the pots was an ornate wooden cross, obviously handmade out of native wood and intricately carved with a coping saw. "How much is this cross?" I asked the clerk. Her answer told me more about how much the cross was ...