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Wednesday Devotional: Practicing Non-Transactional Christianity

Matthew 7:1-5

My friend made an astute observation: Culture is transactional, while religion is non-transactional.

Culture is transactional because we discern the worth of others by what they offer us and from our judgment of their value. If they give to me appropriately, then I value them. We judge others based on the benefits of each transaction independent of other events, or based on their characteristics or their opinion. This is why relationships break; despite a positive history between two people, a bad "transaction," episode, or difference of opinion dooms the relationship.

Religion is intended to be non-transactional. We should mirror the Father's love for all God's children, regardless of their behavior. As someone commented to me recently, "God loves (their least favorite political candidate) as much as God loves me." God loves everyone, and when we bring a judgmental attitude into our religion and make it transactional, we are not mirroring God's non-transactional love.

In Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV), Jesus warned us not to judge others and to focus on our own behavior.

“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 out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

We must start with becoming uncomfortable with our own sin, which may be a comfort zone for us. We accept and even get used to our particular varieties of sin while criticizing others' sin. As we give up that comfort zone, we can adopt a trust zone of letting Jesus judge, while we focus on loving others, placing the non-transactional above the transactional in our faith practice.

I hope you'll listen to two recently released podcasts. One is my latest Practical Faith Academy podcast, Episode 3 with Gordon Holmes, the Viral Rideshare Servant, talking about his faith expressed as servanthood. You can find it by searching for "Practical Faith Academy podcast" or visiting my Free Content page.

The second is my guest appearance on the Unconventional Ministry podcast with Dennis Wiens in the episode entitled "Embracing Trust Over Comfort." It's a good conversation that reveals new ideas from my book, "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone." You can find the podcast at

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