“Jesus looked up in the tree and said, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’
So he hurried and came down, and received Jesus joyfully. When the people saw it, they all indignantly complained, ‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is devoted to sin’ “ (Luke 19:5-7).
If you’re looking for an answer to the hateful division you see, I have part of the solution: Judge people. I’m serious. Judge everyone. Look intently at each person’s heart and mind, and judge with God how much love, grace, hope, healing, kindness, encouragement, patience, wisdom, honor, and blessing are needed for this soul to become all he is showing you he or she is capable of. Judge cities and nations the same way, occupying them with his presence, instead of condemning them to the enemy.
Your influence is zero when you condemn someone or some place. In fact, you do the work of the accuser when you agree with his judgments, because you’re abandoning that person or place, leaving it for pain, shame, bitterness, and fear to occupy. That projected negativity can put down roots in your own soul, and you often end up living in your own version of the curse you declared on someone else.
So, live in blessing instead. Blessing isn’t agreeing with all the choices someone has made, but it is equipping them to make better ones, and empowering them to become who God shows you they really are. To bless is to joyfully invite God to pour out his grace and love without measure, and to treat people and places as though they’re already living in it. Begin every day by blessing yourself.
“Zacchaeus stood up and said, ‘Lord, here and now I give half my possessions to the poor, and if I’ve cheated anyone out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’
Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this house today . . . this is why the Son of Man has come—to seek and save all that’s been lost’“ (Luke 19:8-10).