Teaching Series
The Judged

Series: The Judged
Message: None
Preacher: Jessyka Albert
Reflection: Jessyka Albert
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Vanessa Rivera
Editor: Becky De Oliveira

Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.

Read: Romans 3:9-20 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions. 

Reflect: I believe a common struggle we all have is this need, want, or desire to be perfect. To do things right and do them right the first time. To be viewed in the best way possible by other people. Pastor Damian Chandler began this series, The Judged, with a sermon at Boulder Church in which he argued that each of us has an outer voice and an inner voice. The outer voice is the one that we want people to hear. This voice is kind and confident, encouraging and optimistic. Our inner voice, however, is a whole different story. It’s the voice that yells in traffic, gets angry, is selfish—you get the picture.

We all want to be perceived by the values represented by the outer voice. Our intention is to speak with that voice all the time—but this simply doesn’t always happen. We make mistakes, we lose our temper, we slip up and make a rude comment out loud. The poison from inside often leaks out and is visible to everyone else when what we really wanted was to put our best version of ourselves forward. What ends up happening is we compare ourselves with others as a way of compensating. Well, yeah, I ate three donuts this morning, but Susan had four, so I’m OK. I might have lost my temper with my kids this morning, but Bill lost his at work during a big presentation.

As long as someone is doing a little worse than you are, whether at home, work, school, or play, you feel a little better about yourself. You give yourself the opportunity to look down on them and think of yourself as better than they are.

Paul debunks this thinking. No comparison is going to be significant enough to make your mistakes or shortcomings disappear. The comparisons we make between ourselves and others only hurt us and them. They do nothing to change who we are or our objective level of perfection. Only Jesus can do that.

Recalibrate: How can you avoid defining yourself by comparing yourself with others and instead let Jesus define you?

Respond: Ask for patience with others, knowing that none of us is perfect and we are all in need of Jesus.

Research: Listen to Pastor Damian Chandler’s sermon on the Boulder Church website or podcast.

Remember: “There is no one without sin. None! There is no one who understands. There is no one who looks to God for help. All have turned away. Together everyone has become evil. None of them does anything good” (Romans 3:10-12, ICB).

Jessyka Albert is associate pastor at Boulder Adventist Church, leading Live Wonder (ages 0-3), Live Adventure (ages 4-11), and Live Purpose (ages 12-17), along with their supporting ministries. She grew up in Washington State and has a degree in theology from Union College in Lincoln, NE. Jessyka has served in various areas of ministry, but her passion for discipling kids has taken center stage in her career.

Play your child’s favorite game. Celebrate the wins, encourage through the mistakes, and support through the inevitable frustration. Abide by the rules so your child sees that they are important to you. Love playing with your child. Be in the very moment with them as your Heavenly Father is with you both.

Play a game today. It could be tag or Scrabble or chess, as long as you are playing with someone else. When your game is finished, ask yourself these questions: Why do you want to play? Is it because you are good at this game? Is it because you know you can win? Is it because you just love to play? How do you feel if you are not winning? What do you do when you know you are losing? What kind of player are you? Would you like to play with you?

Some assume that all church pastors, theologians, evangelists, and administrators are righteous or even holy just because of their title. It can feel that way. Maybe you’ve heard these kinds of people recite full Bible passages, explain complicated theological terms, or pray very eloquently. When someone in one of these positions makes an error, we could react with shock. They were our example! Yet we may have put them on a pedestal of our own making—deciding that they were incapable of doing anything wrong. What categories do you have for people? Are these categories based on how God views people or on the way others around you think? Who should be our ultimate example?

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