“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to they brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5
Today’s Christian daily devotional
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to change my profile picture on Facebook. Who could have guessed the amount of ruckus a simple little move like that could make?
The influx of messages I received was bewildering! Random people I’ve never personally met weren’t too shy about giving me their two cents on my choice for my profile picture.
This was disturbing to me on plenty of levels.
First, the hostility and judgment from the Christian community was disappointing to say the least.
Although the picture contained no cleavage or sexual connotations, I was accused of eliciting ungodly thoughts.
This compelled me to humbly back into my prayer closet. I asked the Lord to search my heart. I even started to question my choice; one I was confident of moments before.
After praying, I also ran the photo past my husband. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes my meter on what is acceptable can be a bit ‘off’. (As a former model, I have a tendency to look at photography as an art form.)
I felt it was important to get an honest opinion from someone who was at least equipped with some testosterone. When John saw the ‘controversial’ photo, he laughed that I even had to ask his opinion. It was far from sexual in my husband’s mind!
I am aware that most men are prone to lustful thoughts than women. I have become so sensitive to this that I have made a concerted effort to thin out my wardrobe; letting go of many precious pieces that brought me numerous compliments over the years.
Why would I bother doing such a thing? Because I want God to know that I was committed to reflecting a positive image for Christ. I did it out of respect for God, my marriage and my fellow brother. I don’t want to be a stumbling block to men that struggled in the area of lust.
According the world’s standards beautiful equals sexual. But, according to God’s beauty standards, a heart that’s humbly submissive to God’s will is a thing of beauty. Knowing this, I asked the Lord to develop my inner character to reflect so much beauty, that I would drop my compulsion to dress in a way that would be harmful to my own or another’s walk with God.
After much prayer and searching through the scriptures, I came to the conclusion that God had no issues with a woman’s desire to be beautiful. This innate tendency is something that most females naturally lean towards. Without it, the human race wouldn’t have survived past the first generation!
But, despite what the world says, we women can certainly be considered beautiful without inviting men to look at us in a sexual way. There is a marked difference.
It’s our responsibility as Christian woman to bring out the best in every person we encounter. Dressing in an overtly sexual fashion does nothing but sow lust, discord and jealousy in others. This is a fruitless battle worth avoiding at any cost.
So, why am I saying all this? If a woman has given her appearance to the Lord and truly submits this area to Him and a man looks at her ‘neutral’ photo and it still elicits sexual thoughts from him, the bottom line is: The man must take responsibility for his own lustful thoughts. It his personal responsibility to come to terms with his own heart condition. He can only grow in his relationship and intimacy with Christ when he stops looking to inflict the blame for his thoughts and behavior on another.
Christian men were not called to micro-manage the lives and photos of others. Nor, is it God’s will that they should! Matthew 7: 1-5 clearly says that if blame should be cast, the first (and only) person a Christian should rebuke is themselves.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I have been guilty of placing blame on others. This is because I didn’t want to shoulder the full responsibility of my own sin. I also wanted a convenient excuse that would allow me to feel better about continuing in my sin.
I repent of this. Matthew 7:1-5 has made it clear to me that I am responsible for my own thoughts and actions. It is important that I judge myself first before even thinking about judging another. This is God’s responsibility, not mine.
Lord, show me my heart. Judge me. I am ready to hear what you really think about my actions and thoughts. Show me where I have convinced myself that ‘I’m alright’ in areas where you feel otherwise.
I am ready to be honest with myself. I am now stepping out of the way. I won’t hamper your spirit of conviction from doing the work that needs to be done in my heart.
Keep my heart soft; my ears open to your instruction and my feet swift to act in obedience to you.
It makes no difference what any other person thinks of me. It only matters what you think. In Jesus’ precious name, remind me of this everyday so I don’t get sucked into pleasing the wrong person. My goal is to please you and you alone. Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: Matthew 7:1-5
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan