Devotions for Teachers: Jesus Wouldn’t Judge

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If you only love those who love you, what reward will you get?

-Matthew 5:46

I’m sure I’m COMPLETELY alone here, but not everyone I’ve ever worked with in education has been easy to get along with. Not every student has aimed to please me. Not every parent has trusted me right off the bat. Also (confession time), I have not always been the easiest person to get along with. I’m especially difficult in ways that no one even knows about.

I have most definitely sat in a conference and had judgmental thoughts fill my brain as I listened to a parent make excuses as to why their child never has their homework. I’ve dealt with a struggling student and placed blame on their previous teachers, or their parents. I’ve seen a rambunctious class in the hallway and internally rolled my eyes at how clueless that teacher must be about classroom management. The list could go on, unfortunately. But…who am I to do that, exactly?

There are a wholllleeee lotta gems to pull out of the Sermon on the Mount, but one of them is the infamous ‘speck in your neighbor’s eye’ paragraph.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye'‘, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly…”

My favorite part of this whole thing is when he says that when you remove the plank from your own eye, you will see clearly. GUYS. When we judge others, we’re not even looking at that person’s faults through a clear lens. Instead, our vision is distorted by our own sin, our own insecurity, our own faults. The only person who was walking around without a plank in his eye…the only blameless person to ever exist…was Jesus. He, ironically enough, could have walked around judging people left and right and condemning them to horrible fates. He would have had the right. But instead he chose love. He chose healing. He chose salvation for all. Why? Because when you are truly righteous and living in God’s image, you don’t have the hate in you to judge. As Christians we are called to love first, and work to understand another’s situation second. Judgement is never part of the equation.

Yet, so many of us feel that we have the right. We’ve taught longer. We’ve been in this district longer. We’re younger and have fresher ideas. We stay at school later. We work harder. Etc. etc. etc. We all have that thing we feel we are doing better than someone else. But instead, I challenge us all to try looking inward. Take the comparison out of it. Fill yourself up with so much Jesus, that when you’re faced with conflict or tension or negativity, you’re like a full glass. When you tip over, Jesus washes over others. Not anger. Not judgement. Not hatred.

Instead of praying this week for the patience to put up with someone who is difficult in your life right now, be it a student or coworker or parent, pray to be more like Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t judge, he would love. Pray to be more like that.

I hope you all a fantastic week at school, friends. ❤️ It helped me this week to keep a snapshot of these words on my desk at school. If you’d like to join me, download the free prayer card printable below!


Stephanie Sutherland