Hey! Don’t Judge Me!

Hey GCT:
As you live in America today and watch people live out their own self-established standards of life and engage in a specific lifestyle, the worst thing that anybody could ever do at any given moment when interacting with them is “judge them.”  If you would ever hint that you disagree with their lifestyle you will get a quick response of condemnation towards your discernment. The American norm today is to set your own standards.  We live in our own self-established authority that sounds like this, “This is what I believe is right about my life.  I believe I can live like this because this is my standard.  So don’t judge me.”  
In other words, what many are really saying is “leave me alone this is none of your business in fact you are the one with the problem not me.” Some will even be ready to quote the one verse that they know from the Bible.  They may not know that the Bible even has an Old and New Testament but they will know this one verse.  They wont know that Jesus is the one speaking or any of the other verses that come before it or after it but they will know that somewhere in that book is the phrase, “Judge not and you will not be judged” (Luke 6:37).
Did Jesus really say that?  Yes, he did say that.  Did He mean for believers to never judge as we go about our lives each day?  No, He did not.  Living a life dedicated to following the Lord in Holiness does not mean that we are never to judge.  Life demands judgments every day.  It would irresponsible for us not to judge.  We are to absolutely know what is right and what is wrong.  And we are to make moral judgments accordingly.  In fact Jesus tells us in John 7:24, Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. And Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5: 12-13 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”  So, yes, as believers we are to make righteous judgments as we live our lives.
So what is Jesus talking about?
Jesus is mainly concerned about the attitude of our hearts.  Jesus does not want our spirit, our personality, our character to be one that is always focused upon judgment and condemnation.  That is not how Jesus responds to us.  When we have a judgmental spirit we tend to convict a person of wrong-doing and chain them up in some jail of condemnation in our mind.  We give them an eternal guilty verdict and we never try to encourage this person towards God and never seek redemption making things new.  A judgmental spirit treats this person as one that is out of reach of God and His loving redeeming hand.  A judgmental spirit never holds out hope!  We put this person in the worst possible light and refuse to think the best of this person.  Again, this is not how Jesus Christ has treated us.  He knows all of our sin! And yet gives mercy and grace!  He choses to treat us with mercy, grace, loving kindness, and forgiveness that is all wrapped in a slowness to anger.  We are called to do the same to everyone else.  We give grace as we have been given grace from Christ.  We give mercy as we have been mercy from Christ.  We give forgiveness as we have been given forgiveness from Christ.  
Who have you locked up in your own self-constructed jail cell of judgmentalism?  Jesus is commanding you to set them free as He has set you free.
This Sunday, I look forward to worshipping with you our Lord and Savior who has taken all condemnation and all judgment from us. – Steve

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