This was titled: A sobering scripture. I decided to share it here after it was part of our family morning devotion because it actually touched me.
Does it shock you how we’re most often very quick to judge? Is it not amusing, ridiculous even, how “sinners” like us are most often “righteously” enraged by another’s sin?
I was thinking about it and I said to my husband that I feel like we sometimes judge, when we publicly do so, because we are afraid that if we do not loudly condemn the sin of the “sinner”, we would be looked upon as if we are condoning that sin.
Someone just committed adultery (a woman most likely), and you (in your righteousness) keep piping out how horrified and how ashamed and how wounded and embarrassed and insulted and… a bunch of other self-involved emotions that you are. And when you’re not feeling so self-involved, you actually “shallowly” wonder how this person could have so debased themselves.
Ever noticed that these are emotions and self-righteous rages Jesus never wasted time with?
I noticed. And I notice even more now.
With sinners, Jesus was compassionate; he was kind; he was understanding and he still gave them respect.
And he says to us: Judge not or ye will be judged.
What a warning!
And how odd that we are all so careless these days about that warning. Our “holiness” has us blinded. Our “spirituality” and “righteousness”, added to our “I’m-above-this-crap” little halo-ed worlds have us all blinded, so that when we are actually judging, we interpret it as — condemning the sin not the sinner; as counselling the fallen sinner; as speaking out against wrong and upholding right living.
There’s a thin line here, folks, and how often we cross it… without even recognising that we have done so.
I wish I can be like Jesus Christ and not waste time asking the Mary Magdalene in my life why the heck did you have to do this. And not waste emotions ranting and crying and “weakened” by the sin another would entirely have to pay for.
I wish I can be like Jesus and put a call through to the Thief on the Cross in my life and say to him: “It is all right. You have done this evil but I know you can be better.”
I wish I can be like Jesus and dress up, in my finest wear, and go dine in the Matthew the Tax collector’s house in my life.
I wish I would not pretend to be holier. Better. A saint against the sinner. I wish I can stop slamming on people I know nothing about online just because they had the courage (or maybe they’re really foolish by the world’s standards) to own their sins and failures, and just show them a little kindness.
I wish I can just stop judging!
Please find below BOB GASS’S teaching on the matter as culled from The Word for Today. I hope it makes a difference in your life today. Have a blessed week.
“In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” Matthew 7:2 NIV
Here’s a sobering Scripture: ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged’ (Matthew 7:1 NIV). Jesus was hard on the religionists of His day because they spent their time nit-picking. They condemned the disciples for not washing their hands, and Jesus for healing on the Sabbath.
Consider Jesus’ response: ‘You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, My decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent Me’ (John 8:15-16 NIV).
So here are some questions you need to answer: ‘Do I judge others based on their actions, and judge myself based on my intentions? When someone’s behaviour doesn’t reflect a choice or decision you’d have made, are you quick to comment? When people don’t move at your pace or do something the way you want it done, do you peg them as lazy and worthless? When you hear something negative about somebody, do you repeat it before checking to see if there’s any truth in it?’
Ben Franklin said, ‘I resolve to speak ill of no man … not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.’
If you’ve a genuine concern for someone who’s going in the wrong direction and have earned the right to address it, do it in the spirit of love. And remember, you earn that right by consistently demonstrating love and care for them.