Judge Not

After care group last night and the sermon from church 3 weeks ago I have come to the conclusion that I judge people way too harshly.  Deep, I know!  You say, “Wow Tim, it must have taken you a lot of soul-searching and meditation to figure that out!” with a heavy helping of sarcasm, but even after we heard the sermon in church I was still convinced that it was something that other people struggled with.  Only after care group last night did I really come to grips with the truth that I judge other people harshly as well.

There are numerous passages in the Bible about not passing judgments on others, many of them I know from memory.  These would include, “Do not judge others lest you yourself be judged”, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves”, “Let not the one who eats, pass judgment on the one who abstains”, etc…  My own blindness to my sin leads me to think that I’m better than everyone because I don’t struggle with sinfully judging others.  The irony is that by having that mindset I am being prideful and looking down on others because they are somehow weaker than me, which turns out to be sinfully judging them.  What a mess I am!  All I can say is thank you Holy Spirit for revealing my sin to me and showing me how wicked I am!  The good news is that there is a Savior who died for all of that prideful wickedness!

Jesus was the only person who ever lived who was not worthy of being sinfully judged, yet He was the  most sinfully judged person to have ever lived.  Everyone else before or after Jesus has been sinfully judged and although the judging is sinful, there is most likely a sin that the judged person committed that in some way warranted the judging.  Jesus, on the other hand, never sinned.  So His being judged was never warranted.  When he cast out demons the religious (evil) people said He was the prince of demons.  When He healed on the Sabbath they said He was sinning.  When He taught about the Kingdom they said He had a demon Himself.  Jesus was always the target of gossip and slander and sinfully judging by people who thought they had it all figured out.  But they missed the point (and it was hidden from them) that Jesus was God and that He alone is the only one who is permitted to judge.  Yet when Jesus was the subject of gossip, slander, judgments, yes He rebuked them, but He also showed them mercy and was even silent sometimes.  Isaiah 53:7 says about Jesus, “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth”.

The example of Jesus is what my life needs to look more like.  Never did He pass a sinful judgment on His friends or His enemies even when they accused Him of blasphemy.  He loved them and gave them chances to repent because He does not wish that any should perish, but come to eternal life.  My prayer is that the Holy Spirit would teach me to view sinful judging the way Jesus does and that I would rather choose to love people instead of pass judgments when that is not my role.  Teach my love instead of criticism, compassion instead of self-righteousness, and mercy instead of hardness of heart.