James: Day 3

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment


Today's Text: James 2:1-13, Zechariah 7:9-10, Matthew 7:1-5, Romans 13:8-10

Scripture Reading: James 2:1-13, Zechariah 7:9-10, Matthew 7:1-5, Romans 13:8-10

With the precision of a surgeon’s knife, the Holy Spirit sliced into my heart, convicting me. It caught me off guard—my sin of favoritism.

Hours before, I’d watched a video on discrimination alongside my ministry team. The clip highlighted how easily we can fall into judging and favoring others. To further illustrate the point, we were divided into two different groups based on one aspect of our lives, something we had no control over: our eye color. People with blue eyes were to be treated differently than those with brown eyes.  

Soon comments and accusations were flying back and forth. The responses of those discriminated against felt strangely satisfying to me. One woman in particular spoke with such disdain; her condescending attitude only proved her lack of awareness of those who live in the margins every day. I confess I was happy to have her sit in the back of the room as a member of the “discriminated” group, so she could experience a lack of equity.

The next day, our group entered into a time of prayer, confession, and lament. That’s when God opened my eyes in a new way to Galatians chapter five, where Paul lists the works of the flesh: enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy. The very things our team had sought to address and combat head-on were now being revealed in my own heart. I had judged that woman, and in thinking less of her, I showed partiality toward others who appeared more self-aware and further along in their faith journey.

“My brothers and sisters, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ… haven’t you made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
- James 2:1,4

This sin—my sin of judging some and favoring others—is cautioned against throughout Scripture. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus couldn’t be more clear when He says, “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use” (Matthew 7:1-2).

The Lord is the only one worthy of being the Judge. He’s the only one capable of judging fairly. “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). It’s not our job to do the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting others of their sin, but we are called to respond to the Spirit’s conviction in our own hearts.

When we try to take God’s place as judge and jury, perhaps it’s because we’ve lost sight of just how great a debt Jesus died to pay on our behalf. Now, God’s “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13); His justice has been satisfied once and for all who love Jesus (Romans 3:25-26).

We’re all on a journey, learning to honor the Lord through loving one another well. Daily, as we walk in step with the Spirit, may we speak the gospel into our waking moments. As sin is exposed, let us draw near to our Savior. Mercy triumphed over judgment when Christ died for us, sinners, and rescued us from deserved condemnation. And mercy triumphs still, as a holy God looks at us and sees the spotless image of His Son.


Vivian Mabuni is a speaker and author, and a sushi, white Christmas lights, post-its, and coffee-with-friends lover. She has been on staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) for 28 years and serves with Epic Movement, the Asian American ministry of Cru. Connect with Vivian on Twitter and Instagram at @vivmabuni.

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  • Belinda Fantastic

    What a great lesson for self reflection. Thank God for his mercy and for the Holy Spirit to allow is to see the error of our ways.

  • Riana Robinson

    Hit Post before I was finished, ugh. On some level it feels easier to judge folks that mistreat you and favor those that recognize the daily burden of oppression. I appreciated the call to let the Holy Spirit work in our hearts and trust that it’s working in others

  • Riana Robinson

    I’m grateful for the author’s honesty. As a person that has faced a lot of discrimination it’s hard not to look more graciously on people that are doing the hard work of

  • Tanyah Hope

    These are such life goals! I definitely have shown favoritism and judgement to others in my lifetime. It’s something I’ll be constantly praying to God about. I also want to proudly let my light shine and my love for God show around people who aren’t Christians. I think people look at a lot of Christians who haven’t looked in their hearts and God’s Word when it comes to judgement. I think it turns people away from even giving the word a chance. I want to be the positive example since we are all ambassadors of Christ.

  • Shaina Lee

    This speaks a lot of truth in many ways. I sometimes find myself looking at others differently due to their physical appearance. It’s true that we shouldn’t look or treat other differently due to their physical appearances but it matters what on the inside. The Lord continuously works in us and always shows mercy.

  • Natalie Roush

    My boyfriend and I broke up a month ago. We were together for almost ten months and it was a really difficult relationship. We were both going through extremely hard things individually. He eventually ended things and he said there were so many bad things about the way I was with him. I know I was. I was so quick to anger with him. I projected a lot of insecurities from the personal problems and hardships I was experiencing onto him. I am having such a hard time with this because I feel as though I have already ruined things with my sinful ways. There is no redemption for this relationship. He is done. I don’t want these sins, I don’t want to be angry and quick to judge. I don’t want self sufficiency. I want peace and joy and all the fruits of the spirit. I am sad that I ruined something that could have been good.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing Natalie. We’re praying for encouragement and peace for you during this time. We’re so glad that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Rachel Mullane

      My love… I’m sorry you had to go through a break up. They are so hard, and do a lot of damage to the soul!

      You are perfectly redeemed & flawless in the eyes of God, and He promises to heal and renew us! If you want to cast away doubt, insecurity, and a tongue that is quick to anger, let that be your prayer! Do not let your ex be the judge. The Lord is the judge. I love you. You are my continuous prayer today, sister!

    • Patricia Miles

      Keep praying for a change of heart in yourself. I am constantly doing this. I struggle with projecting anger towards my husband and down right disrespecting him. I am thankful for a merciful God and a husband that mirrors that mercy. Jesus can restore even the most broken things. All of his promises are yes and amen!

  • Gail Mcconnell

    This is the truth. God’s word does not lie. Mercy is now. Judgment is later. It is not possible to give mercy without humility. Pride will always attempt to rationalize judging others. Thank God for the Holy Spirit to help us.

  • Rebekah Jarboe

    I tend to quickly judge those who smell bad. It is a really stupid and un Christ like thing to do, and the truth is that we all smell bad at times and I smell bad often because that is the way the human body works. God created them the way they are and me the way I am and though there seem to be differences between us we are all created the same in God’s image.

  • It is oh too easy to not be judgmental about the “big/obvious” things… but yet be drowning in judgment on littler matters. I see this in myself, and am thankful for God’s mercies (not judgment), new every day. Bit by bit He is transforming me and helping me in this area. but oh the progress can be slow. Great to read these passages and the devotional thoughts.

  • Felicity Rose

    This is huge in my life. I had been judging a girl who put me on a 5150 call because of all the hurt she has caused me for months but now I’ve had a change of heart. I only want the best for her. I want her to live a long and happy life whether or not I am present in her life. And I can only hope and pray that she wishes the same for me.

  • Stef Lewerenz

    This is huge. My dad is one of the most difficult people I’ve ever met and he doesn’t see it. And I am struggling with how to distance myself from him to stop the chance of being hurt time and time again. But God calls to love. I don’t get to decide what other people deserve, or how they deserve to be treated.
    But I do wonder what it looks like to love someone but also be wise in how close I am to someone who constantly emotionally manipulates and hurts me.

    If anyone has any wisdom on this I would be so grateful.

    • Kate Harper

      Yes me too, Stef. This is my life. I was convicted through this reading. It’s hard. We don’t want to put ourselves in the situation to get hurt. But we chose love every single time. Every single time love wins & love fulfills the law.

  • So to love everyone is forfilling the Law like it says in Romans. I need the Lord’s help on this. I believe we all do.

  • We cannot judge a persons heart, but judging the action as right or wrong, sinful or righteous, is different. When pointing out a sin to someone it should also be taken into account whether or not the person is a professing believer. With a believer the focus is on becoming more like Christ and having Him guide you toward righteousness. But a non believer, regardless of how great the sun committed has a deeper problem. They do not know Christ. Everything has to start with the foundation of Christ, either introducing Him or reminding someone, with love, that Christ has a better way.

  • The definition of “judge” is unclear here. There is an important different between “judging” and “discerning.”

  • I’m struggling with this now, as a good friend of mine has committed adultery. I’m trying not to judge, but at the same time, figuring out if I should back away from the relationship a bit because I’m ashamed for her, and just having a hard time making it all okay in my mind and in my life. How does one do this??

    • Jode

      Pray, pray for God to lead your words and speak the truth to her. As a woman who committed adultery and broke up her family I can honestly say that having a friend that loved me enough to tell me the truth might have made a difference. It may not have, but, we had no strong enough friendships to stand up for our marriage when we couldn’t. You may lose the friendship but at least you will lose it for loving a friend enough to speak God’s truth, rather than stepping back, letting a chance to save a marriage fall with a thud. True Friendships stand the test of time and someday, she will see the truth and know who the truest friend was/is. Just my thoughts on the matter. I will be praying diligently for you, and for your friend. God bless.

      • Ashley

        Hey Ashley, I had a friend once do the same. It’s hard to separate your feelings and beliefs from that of your friends actions. My advice, and what I do for anyone that I love, is I pray for that loved one to draw close to God, and for purity. I know it may sound a little strange considering the act has already been made, but what your friend needs most now is love. I think it’s okay to take a step back for a moment in a physical sense/presence. Your relationship might be tense for awhile, but I wouldn’t give up hope that your friendship couldn’t be restored, and as you pray for your friend God will help you with understanding and forgiveness.

    • Michelle

      I want to go at this from another angle. My husband had multiple affairs. He is a sex addict. I struggled as to whether our marriage could be restored or not. It has been. What is important about this is that my husband lost some of his friends and some of our friends because of others judging his actions. it made his struggles even harder (mine too!). Those friends that knew and remained have continued to help him through recovery. Given my experiences, I think if she were my friend, I would ask God to help me use the right words and tell her I hate what she did but I still love her. As hard as it may be love the person hate the act. Even Jesus loved adulterers and forgave them. I know this is tough! Hugs and prayers.

  • Jacquie

    Just wondering if you would consider making these devotions audible? It would be great for my blind friends and great to take in the car and listen on the way.

  • Wow this was so great. As a busy college student in-between working and school. I find myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle at times and not saving time for my relationship with Christ. But as I started this devotional this week I have been revisiting truths that I can readily apply to my everyday life. Since I am a barista you can imagine all the people I come across on a daily basis, sometimes I get great friendly customers and others I get not so nice ones. But I need to remember that LOVE and patience is key, the Lord has nothing but love and patience for me and all the headaches I give him, so who am I not to show the same affection towards others. As I head to work today this was a great reminder to keep my heart in check, be an example, and not judge others.

  • Thinking about how showing mercy in my work to people who work below and above my rank is a good witness to The person and Bystanders. How I speak and act shows how God changes my attitude and behavior, and how big is Gods power that helps me show mercy and kindness when an individual is awful to me. I think you can still show kindness and mercy while following through on consequences even if those consequences are just tighter boundaries

  • Lavola Williams

    Wonderful read,

    • Lavola Williams

      I wanted to say that this was very real for me , being a woman of color I feel there is always a struggle were fighting. I have been affected by the plight of my culture these past few years in such a way that GOD has compelled me
      to go back to school to receive my law degree so that I can contribute to society by fighting for justice in a world were it really isnt given to all. With God as my guide my purpose is greater then me. Im not looking for fortune or fame but for justice and equality for all.

      • Cathy

        I am so proud of you Lavola, listening to God’s plan for your life. It inspires me to have the courage to make the call thatGod has been pushing me to make for some time that will lead to me using the gifts God has given me to partner with black & white people of peace in an effort to have honest gut wrenching discussions as we surrender to God and let the Spirit work in each of us. What part of “Love thy neighbor” does this world not get? Thank you for sharing!

  • Courtney

    This study brought not only conviction but a sweet renewal of freedom & trust that Christ is working in the lives of others. It’s not my job to expose sin or bring conviction- it’s his. And I show distrust when I try to take things into my own hands. I am a missionary serving at a new baby church & most of our leadership are nationals that are relatively new in their faith. There are times when I need to bring correction & God has been so faithful to answer me when I ask if it is time for me to speak up or to continue to pray & allow him to work. I hope that is encouraging to those looking to find balance. For the most part I believe we’re called to love & to err on the side of grace & mercy because “mercy triumphs over judgement.”

  • Wow. I have to thank you for writing this. It resonated with me and honestly really convicted me. I see myself as a very open minded, loving and accepting person. But when it comes to people who I perceive as ignorant, socially unaware, etc, I have no patience. I see that I have been judging many people by thinking that I am so enlightened and progressive. I think it is important to care about justice and to try to lovingly share information with people but I have often spoken ill of people who I view as ignorant. Anyway Thank you so much, and I pray God will help me to be more merciful as I have been shown mercy.

  • Courtlyn

    This was a much-needed, convicting entry. On Monday I started a new grad school program with 39 other students that I will be spending huge amounts of time with for the next year. As I try to meet new people and scope out “friendship potential” among my classmates, I’ve caught myself pre-judging so often throughout the week. It’s something I’ve constantly been fighting to keep my heart in check about, and I’m thankful to have these scriptures to reference back to and memorize.

  • Kristin

    Anyone out there with advice on how to balance creating healthy relational boundaries with avoiding judgment? I grew up in a family without good boundaries and it feels super judgmental and unloving to set them now. I know it’s not, but they feel that my boundaries are judgmental and unfair. Pressing into Jesus and thankful in advance for any wisdom y’all have!

    • caroline

      read “boundaries” by cloud and townsend. such a great read and that will definitely help you. I seem to recall their saying that the act of setting boundaries IS an act of love. blessings to you!

    • Steph

      Kristen, I have wrestled with that balance too, but ultimately I think there’s a big difference between being judgmental (in an arrogant “I’m-better-than-them” sort of way) and having healthy discernment. I don’t think it’s wrong to recognize areas others may need to grow in and set personal boundaries when around them, but I think we need to always be checking our own hearts and thoughts toward others. Boundaries are healthy when they help us avoid sinning ourselves. Discernment is a great thing to have in an imperfect world where we all have imperfect hearts, but we always need to be open to the Holy Spirit’s conviction over our wrong motives/prideful attitudes. We can be different from others and still have love and acceptance for them. However, we don’t have to walk in sin with anyone, especially when we ourselves feel we might give into sin when walking with them. We can still love unconditionally without simply standing by and tolerantly accepting wrong/deconstructive behaviors. We want loving, pure hearts and that might be offensive to people sometimes when it means we need to set personal boundaries or even lovingly confront sinful behaviors — but “not being judge mental” doesn’t mean “not offending anyone.” Still working through all that myself so would love to hear others’ thoughts.

  • Maybe someone already posted this, but I immediately thought of this song that highlights these truths. Mercy, sung here by Amanda Cook:

  • Kristin

    Wow very convicted today. I am a high school teacher and I realized today how much I show favoritism. It is so much easier for me to love the lovely — students who are personable and hardworking, than it is to show love to marginalized students — not hardworking, lacking social skills, at times disruptive and rude. It is not my job to fix them. It is my job as a teacher to teach them and my job as a christian to love them even when its hard. This is exactly what I needed.

    • Emily B.

      I just finished my last year of teaching for awhile, and I can so relate to what you shared. I was convicted of that several times this year. Students look to us for so many things, and it’s a perfect opportunity to shine God’s light. Keep doing the good work for the Lord!

  • Emily M

    I don’t think in all my years at Christian school and church have I ever read this section of James. Love the words on favoritism!!! What a great conversation starter

  • Destiny

    I felt very convicted with this devotional, especially when reading the parallel passage in Matthew 7:1-5. I’ve been a Christian for about four years and ever since I truly gave my life to Christ I have been trying to reach my family. They are the typical “Southern” Christians who grew up in church and live somewhat religiously. This verse directly spoke to me because I judge them based off my standard of commitment to Christ. I shouldn’t judge them so harshly when they back track because my Heavenly Father didn’t judge me in that way. I know it is so easy to fall into a “high and mighty” viewpoint when looking at where other Christians are in their spiritual walk, but this is definitely a refreshing reminder of my Heavenly Father’s love and compassion. A love and compassion that I need to remember to have towards my family as well as anyone else in their journey!

  • Candice Stevens

    I confess that I have a tendency to be very judgmental. I want to do better, love as Jesus loved.

  • Bridget

    I grew up in a home where there was a lot of criticism and negativity and focus on physical appearance and social status. It still exists in my family and it is exhausting to be around. And, I struggle terribly with judging my family members for being like they are: JUDGMENTAL.

    • Destiny

      I grew up in a similar lifestyle too! I can relate to the emotional/mental exhaustion of being around a family who are constantly judging others on their appearance and status. It definitely wears on me too especially when I realize how it makes me judgmental towards them and others as well.

    • LJ

      This is so relatable. Judging people for being judgmental is something I deal with everyday in my extended family! It is definitely exhausting to try to deal with their constant comments and hateful looks, but their actions are no basis for us to place our judgment! God has forgiven me of so much and looks at me so lovingly, and that is exactly how I want to look at my family, even when they hurt me!

    • Barbara

      I have a similar background. It occurred to me as I was reflecting on this passage, that perhaps the reason I was judgemental was that I was constantly being torn down, and judging others was a way of shoring up my own battered ego. I think that I have to work on two things–being less judgemental, of course, but also understanding that I am a beloved daughter of the King, and have no need to tear down others to secure my place before Him.

  • Wow this came with perfect timing. I confess to you my sisters that I am guilty of the sin of judging! Just today at the doctors office I was quite critical of the unkempt, overweight ‘ugly’ people there. I am so embarrassed of my thoughts and reaction after being convicted by James letter. How slow along the path of love I am traveling!

  • PronetoWander

    Wow this is so good! This truly spoke to me and I’m excited because of it! I judge the judgey. Which is a weird trap but I can have such fire and hate for people who hate? How is that? I will be thinking of this throughout today!

  • How interesting that my fasting word of the day is judgment. It’s so funny how God works in all ways to make things come together and He knew even before I did that I would be doing this study and how these things would fall into place on the exact same day. Judging others and being critical is not something I’m proud of and something I struggle with especially with social media. I love what James says and I love the verse that Mercy does triumph over judgment because I certainly don’t want to be judged the way I have been known to judge others.

  • I know this may seem silly, but I am one who is on the outside looking in. My husband was transferred 7 months ago. I did not want to leave; I loved my church and had sisters in faith. Now, I have not been able to find friends. I still communicate with my friends, but am looking for new friendships here. I am not sure if the church we are at now is where we are supposed to be. I feel like I am the new person, who they don’t want to take a chance on. I am praying about that and am feeling the voice saying to go to this other church. I have not gone because my sister goes to the church we are currently going to. I do not want to leave her. I am just not sure what the Holy Spirit is saying or am I ignoring it because I don’t want to leave my sister behind. I don’t think she would leave to go to the other church. My heart is conflicted to say the least.

    • Trace

      Not silly! Praying that the Lord would grant you peace in your decision of which church to attend, and that He would give you courage to follow the promptings of His Holy Spirit. Also, praying that He will show you those who you will be able to build deep and lasting friendships with!

    • Jordan

      Jenny, that’s so tough! I’m praying for direction and clarity from the holy spirit! As a pastor’s kid, I went through a similar thing when I was home from college in the summers. I love my dad’s teaching, but I just felt so disconnected from community at my church. I never gained the courage to try a different church, but I often wish I had! I know it would have been hard to leave, but God calls us to live in community, and I just didn’t have that at my dad’s church.

      • Jenny

        Jordan, I am so sorry that you felt that disconnect. The church we left in Texas, I had only found 2 years before we had to move, but God worked in mighty ways at that church. I went through a class on Freedom and had a sister walk me through the final stages of forgiving myself. What a blessing that Church was to me. I felt the Holy Spirit there and I am not feeling that at this church. I pray and hope you have found a church that you have the community feeling. Thank you so much for your prayers.

    • Candice Stevens

      Praying for you! Happy to call you my Christian sister!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Jenny. Asking the Lord to provide clarity and direction in this time of transition. So grateful to have you in this SRT community!

      – Stormye

      • Jenny

        Stormye, Thank you for the prayers. I am thankful to have the SRT community and truly feel the love here.

  • And mercy triumphs still, as a holy God looks at us and sees the spotless image of His Son…..What a beautiful statement, Vivian! This has clicked something in my head. In trying to understand God’s mercy. It’s a huge concept to grasp. I very much thank you!!

  • Diane Huntsman

    I love you SRT. Thank you for this life giving eye opening soul searching heart transforming ministry! Hugs all around! xoxo

  • “We’re all on a journey, learning to honor the Lord through loving one another well. Daily, as we walk in step with the Spirit, may we speak the gospel into our waking moments.”

    I think this about sums up my prayer for today. I’m a perfectionist to the max-something I’ve struggled with since I was in high school-and I can become so frustrated with myself and others for not “reaching” the standard I believe to be best.
    My husband has been known to tell me several (ok, MANY) times that the only standard I should strive for is the standard of God’s mercy. I don’t think I fully understood that until I re-read this passage today.

    Who am I to judge when He is the only one worthy? We are all on a journey to love and extend the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. I’m taping these words to my mirror so that I remember who’s steps I’m walking in!

  • Madelyn

    I am so convicted as I read this! “It’s not our job to do the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting others of their sin, but we are called to respond to the Spirit’s conviction in our own hearts.” I find when I judge others, consciously or subconsciously, I am just as guilty, if not more so, of the same sin! Thank you Lord for your abounding mercy and grace.

  • Julie McNeil

    I wish our whole congregation could read this….our church is going through a really rough time and satan has a strong hold right now. Please pray specifically for this truth above and there will be healing and restoration soon.

    • churchmouse

      When our church was undergoing a lot of discord and tension (and yes gossip), we were challenged to pray every time we felt tempted to discuss the issues. There had been plenty of talking but little praying. Once we got our praying going, the Holy Spirit got going too. Things improved.

  • So Journer

    God has been so good to me this morning with this devotion. I have had to admit that my son suffers from a mental illness. I have been looking at those things about his lifestyle which disgust and frustrate me and yet God has been looking at his heart which is indeed a gentle soul. Please, pray that my son would be able to accept the help we would like to give him — he is an adult child, living at home, struggling to make his way in a cruel world. Pray that I would have the proper balance of grace and compassion along with the tough love required for the days ahead. Thanking God for all of you who long for “meat” and are not satisfied with just “formula.” In the past,I have read your words and heard your heart. It has ministered to my spirit many times and I thank you.

    • Diane Huntsman

      Jesus, grant this precious sister the desire of her heart to love her son well and to balance the emotions and actions parenting an adult child with these difficult issues.. You have the power to heal any disease, physical or mental.. I pray for healing over her sons mind.. and if healing isn’t granted then grant peace and joy in the midst of challenge.. in Jesus we pray amen

      • So Journer

        Beautiful. Thank you, Diane. Amen. So be it.

        • truthseeker

          My parents faced this difficult situation with me for a couple of decades when I was younger. It was through much prayer that they got through and God helped both them and me. The power of prayer is awesome but it is in Gods timing. Praying for you and your son.

    • Katalina

      God bless your precious son!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you and your son in this time. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Goodness, I do believe the Holy Spirit is calling me out today – personally. I fall so short of who I have been created to be. Sisters, pray with me today that I might let go of my judgement and simply live in love, keeping my heart open that the Holy Spirit might work within me.

    • Tay

      Susie, I felt the same conviction. To “live in love,” yes, that’s how I want to live. I pray the Holy Spirit would guide us to this place where we choose to love, because God loves us. Amen.

    • Emily B.

      This reading and devotion did the same thing for me! I’m right there with you, girl. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  • Caroline

    I’m definitely singing this song by bethel in my head now but this post today gave the song a whole new menaning, so thank you!

    Mercy > judgement!!!


  • Sarah D.

    Hi all, just a prayer request for efficiency…I missed the school bus this morning, so my mom is coming back to take me…just really frustrated with myself for being slow and not being able to drive yet. It’s always a struggle to get up in the morning for some reason…please pray that I can make a routine of getting to bed early and waking up and getting the day started happily and quickly.

  • churchmouse

    Some random thoughts this morning on James and the other Scriptures (I have a nasty head cold so my brain is all over the place):
    -it’s hard not to ‘judge,’ isn’t it? We are all aware that we only get one opportunity to make a first impression. And we do seek out those who are similar to us. Don’t we caution our children to be wise in the company they keep? Do we not avoid downers so as to keep our own spirits lifted? Is this favoritism or judging? Hmmm. We do seem to naturally notice distinctions but whether that is actually judging? I leave that to the Holy Spirit.
    -there’s that little section on the rich… I have had the opportunity to lead Bible study for some very wealthy women. We would say they “have it all” and truly, money is no object. But these women are hungry and thirsty for truth. Who is willing to go to them and not just hang back and be envious of them? You know, the rolling of the eyes and the snarky comments of ‘what do they have to worry about?! They don’t live in the real world.’ But it’s their real world and they are lonely and need Jesus too. Do we avoid reaching out to them because we think they’re too big and we’re too small to relate? Is this reverse judging? Hmmm.. Should I not follow the Holy Spirit’s leading?
    -And shouldn’t I speak up when a Christian sister is involved in blatant sin? Am I not to share the truth and try to help her see she is walking down a dangerous path? Do I risk losing a friendship or do I keep quiet and be culpable for the consequences? Hmmm.. Another dilemma needing the Holy Spirit’s wisdom.
    -and I find myself, perhaps you do too, looking at others and shaking my head at the destructive choices they make. And I’m proud that I never made those choices. But maybe they don’t know Jesus so they don’t know better. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 comes to mind. So I have to draw in my pointing finger.

    I’m to walk in the Spirit. I’m to let Him do His job. Let me keep blinders on so I see my own shortcomings first and I don’t get too full of myself or ahead of the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t need me to correct every one around me. If I’m walking with Him, I’ll know when to speak the truth in love. And I’ll know when to be still. When I’m open to the Holy Spirit, He’ll let me know when I’ve overstepped. He’ll keep me in check. And that’s a very good thing.

    • Sarah

      Amen! Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

    • KimN

      Great thoughts this morning Churchmouse! Love the sinner, hate the sin! I think we get into trouble when we shift from judging the situation/actions to judging the heart of others. As you say, what if they don’t know Jesus? I also thought of Lydia in Acts who was a very wealthy woman but hungry for the truth. We shouldn’t ignore rich people just because they’re rich anymore than show them favoritism. I pray that we would all be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading as He will give us the discernment we need. And when we look through the filter of love (love for our Lord and for His children), we’ll see what to do.

    • Eliza

      Mm, how easily I fall into a version of the Holy Spirit or allow others to play His voice. Thank you for highlighting His sovereignty & love over our daily happenings. May we keep this truth close.

    • Megan


      First, thank you for your thoughts; I always appreciate your insights! :-)

      Second, I’d like to address the “shouldn’t I warn her about her sin” question. Someone taught me (and I have found it helpful) that the prerequisites for speaking difficult truth into someone’s life are 1. you sincerely love them and 2. the conversation will cause you more pain than it will them. This mentor of mine said you should always examine your heart and your motives with these prerequisites in mind before correcting or rebuking another person.

      Maybe that helps?

      • churchmouse

        Absolutely! But I think we are reluctant to speak the truth even to someone we genuinely care about for fear of the words “who are you to judge me?” My heart has broken for a friend who is in a terribly ungodly relationship but she slammed me with that very phrase. We remain estranged.

    • Cindybelle


  • Katalina

    One of the biggest lessons my mom has taught me is to always guard your heart. Protect it and nurture it so that it won’t grow weary or worse, have it start sprouting weeds of hatred, envy and all things that could potentially destroy your life. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that God looks on our hearts. He doesn’t care about good deeds, about our success or wealth. What could we possibly have to offer Him when our hearts are filled with such poison? Do you really think He wants us to flaunt our money or how many volunteer events we’ve been able to check off our list to look more humane? Compassion, mercy, unconditional love is what He wants to see and it all emerges from our hearts. A father never wants his children to be against each other when he has only ever loved each one equally yet uniquely. God is no different. He showed us mercy, grace and compassion. He asks us to do the same with our hearts being the ones to lead us which is why we must protect and nurture it ❤️ love this devotional

    • Brenna

      Thank you for sharing this! I love the part when you say, “A father never wants his children to be against each other when he has only ever loved each one equally yet uniquely. God is no different.”

  • Beautifully written: “As sin is exposed, let us draw near to our Savior. Mercy triumphed over judgment when Christ died for us, sinners…” James, as usual, hits true on something deep within… But The Father’s grace and mercy via the REALITY of His Word immediately soothes a confessed heart. His sweet tenderness is always close on the heels of His disciplines.

  • Another day of conviction. I love James for this reason.

  • candacejo

    Mercy: When you don’t get what you really deserve.
    Grace: When you do get what you don’t necessarily deserve.

    Knowing our God doesn’t owe us anything but I am so thankful that He showed Mercy when He spared our lives and Grace by giving His own so that we could have salvation.

  • Tochi Heredia

    When I was in elementary school, I was one of those kids that wanted to hang out with the cool crowd. And I did.
    I remember judging others that were different, mocking them for the way they dressed, and seeing my peers trying hard to be included in our little clique. I was like that at church too.

    After a few years, I experienced mocking and rejection first hand. I didn’t fit anywhere, I felt so different from everyone else, so misunderstood.
    Sadly, this made me feel like I was better than them. It got to the point where I was like, “I don’t need them or their approval.”

    Flashing forward to today, the beginning of my young adult years, I am grateful for being mocked, rejected and ignored.
    I praise God this morning, as I reminisce about those years. It really put things into perspective. He used it to make me come to terms with my own condition. Who am I to judge others? Who am I to deny compassion to others, whether they’re just like me or totally different?
    I’m in awe today, that Jesus carried our sorrows on the cross, that He was mocked and rejected on our behalf.
    I am a sinner just like everyone else, I have no right to be judgmental, or to hold anything against anybody. Thank you, Lord, that you’re the only one that judges fairly.

    Sorry for the really long post, I had some kind of epiphany with this :p
    Also, I get really excited when I see Vivian’s name. I always love her insights!!!
    Lots of love to all of you, SRT sisters!

    • Annie

      I have a similar story. I took me ten years of being bullied and excluded in a new town after being popular in the previous town (where I definitely showed partiality) before I stopped being angry at God and surrendered everything to Him instead. Praise God for sorting out this mess inside me and having the mercy and grace to forgive me and give me new life.

    • Emily B.

      Amen! Thanks for sharing your testimony!

  • Is anyone else having trouble accessing this study on the app? I already purchased it, but it is still showing up under the option “Available Plans” with the price next to it. When I try to purchase it again, it says I’ve already purchased it and that it is restoring my in-app purchase. There is a little loading circle, but nothing ever happens. I have tried this several times over the past two days.

    • Adrienne

      Have you tried restarting your phone or doing a soft reset?

    • Beth

      I’ve been having trouble with the app for the past 6 weeks or so. I think it started near the end of the Lent study for me. I would go to open the study in the app and it would only ever show the loading circle. I’ve given up and am reading the study on their website for now.

      • Fancy

        Beth – you can send an email to [email protected] and they are really good about responding to your email. May take a day or two but they will answer. – Nancy

    • Fancy

      Kristi- you can send an email to [email protected] and they are really good about responding to your email. May take a day or two but they will answer. – Nancy

      • churchmouse

        I had some trouble purchasing it the other day – the icon was on spin cycle. I emailed SRT and Stormye responded immediately that they were aware and were working on it. It’s working for me now – at their suggestion, I rebooted my mobile and all is good. Reach out when there’s a problem – they are very responsive!

    • Jenny

      I had this problem once. I think I went to the App Store and downloaded the app again or did an update. Sorry I can’t remember exactly what I did cuz I tried a few things.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Kristi! The ladies who have already responded are right – if you send me an email I will help you as best I can! We definitely want to get this fixed for you! You can email me at [email protected]. Glad to have you reading with us!

      – Stormye

    • Maddie Risley

      Kristi, I had to go to the app menu, and click on settings, then restore purchases. It worked for me!

Further Reading...