Some of the most embarrassing moments (whether for ourselves or others) are ones where we’ve passed gas. But it’s also where some of the funniest stories come from. Especially if you’re in a group where it’s comfortable to let your guard down.
You might wonder, why are you even talking about this? How inappropriate. Well, I had a funny moment on my way to work.
I was thinking about the stink of judging others. And I pondered on the passage where Jesus said Do not judge, or you too will be judged (Matthew 7:1-2). And as I thought passing judgment is like… I laughed out loud because, well, you can finish that phrase.
Passing Judgment is Like Passing Gas
It stinks. For everyone. It may not be as bad for the person doing it, but the shame creeps in quickly after, especially when others notice. It might even feel good in the moment, but the aftermath isn’t pleasant to the senses. It can be loud and obnoxious, making others feel uncomfortable. Or silent and deadly, making others wonder what hit them. No matter the execution, it’s not really socially acceptable or pleasant.
Without exception, we all pass gas. The most common and obvious cause is based on the foods we eat and drink. There are certain foods that work up your stomach more than others, but the point is that there has to be something on the inside. It’s all based on your intake! You can’t pass gas unless there’s something in your system to trigger it.
This makes me think of what Jesus said in Matthew 15:11, that it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person.
Even though the specific context is about Jewish religious practices, the fundamental principle is that what comes out is what defiles and reveals if we have unclean (defiled) hearts (reference). Obviously, passing gas involves your gut and not your spirit or heart, but the concept is similar.
Whatever you’re digesting inside determines the way you pass… judgment. There’s a righteous judgment that God calls us to (as Christians), and an unrighteous judgment which we’re not called to. It involves looking down on someone and feeling or believing you’re better than someone. It’s really the sin of pride and self-righteousness. Paul addresses the various churches in his epistles about this, pressing them to pursue having righteous judgment.
It feels as if you can’t get away from it, though, that unrighteous judgment will always be a part of our human inclination. This is true about passing gas, but in passing judgment, you can fill yourself with God’s truth about your new identity in Him, His Word, and His love for everyone. Your intake of God’s truth and your knowledge of Him will be the fragrance wherever you go.
A More Pleasant Fragrance
Something that helps me with this is to practice favorable judgment. This is a Hebrew term and practice to think of others in their favor. It’s a way to bless others in your own thoughts. For example, instead of getting road rage when someone cuts you off, think of something that’s in their favor. My go to is that they’re rushing to the hospital because they’re pregnant. This helps me stay compassionate no matter what, and by the time I get to my destination, I’m not worked up about getting cut off.
Honestly, it’s fascinating how we even have the time to work up judgment towards another when we’re dealing with our own stuff. We’re all going through something, yet, to feel some sort of dominance or power, there’s this need to pass [negative] judgment on others.
We might see beauty filters or fake smiles, but we don’t know the battle of insecurity. We might see inappropriate or improper behavior, but we don’t know the fight to be seen or the desire to be loved. We see interests that don’t line up with ours, but we don’t know how much we can learn from them. There’s so much more than we actually see and know, so who are we to judge, anyway?
As followers of Jesus, we’re called to a higher standard to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1). Our judgment shouldn’t get based on our past life or that of others, but according to the new identity God gave us. Life can and should flow out of us everywhere we go, but it can’t if our minds aren’t set on the right things. When you get your intake of His truth and embrace it, you leave a much more pleasant aroma (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).
No sense remains in the memory like scent. There is nothing we remember more strongly than pleasant smells, except perhaps unpleasant smells. “Thus the apostle wished that his life might be a sweet perfume, floating on the air, reminding me, and above all reminding God, of Christ.”(Meyer)
Live in harmony with one another.Romans 12:16-19
Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.
Never be wise in your own sight.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Apostle Paul said it well. So, may we follow these life principles and live the life God called us to live. Let’s get familiar with our new identity in Christ, so that the stink of judgment doesn’t defile us. Let’s set our minds on the things of the Spirit and digest His truth, love, and life so that He can use us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere (2 Corinthians 2:14).
It is the breath and fragrance of a life hidden with Christ in God, and deriving its aroma from fellowship with Him. Wrap the habits of your soul in the sweet lavender of your Lord’s character.”Meyer
I hope this made you chuckle and was helpful.
Leave a comment below: what stood out the most?
Thank you for reading ❤