I knew posting about sin would stir some questions. I think the one most of us ask is: How do we separate hating sin from hating the sinner? And, are we supposed to separate ourselves from those who don't follow Christ or be in the midst of it all?
Jesus made it very clear we aren't to judge others.
"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?'" (Matthew 7:1-3 NIV)The key word here as I read it is "others." It's not our job to judge people. It's our job to love them. And I don't think we can truly love people when we judge them.
Loving people is hard enough because people can be so annoying. Especially when they don't think like me. I am so much more loving, and reflect Jesus when I'm alone. But, I've always thought we are in a Jesus Boot Camp here on earth. We are learning to love like Jesus, and it's tough, tiring and we are going to get dirty.
The staying apart bit at times must be physical if there's a temptation to sin. But otherwise, we've got to be in the middle of the mix. Jesus celebrated at a wedding, and the wine ran out ... what does that tell you about that party? In fact, He performed His first miracle there.
To end my post, I want to share a story about a time I was judged. It was really unpleasant. And taught me a great lesson.
Teaching our first-born son to drive was a learning experience – for him and me! After taking short trips on side roads, I decided Josh was ready for the “big time.” So we headed to Costco after school on a main thoroughfare. Since I don’t normally drive at that time of the day, I was unprepared for the amount of traffic. Josh was doing well until the light turned red just as he was pulling up to make a right turn. Since traffic was heavy, he was already going slowly, but instead of stopping, I could tell Josh intended to keep going.
“Stop, Josh,” I said quietly as the car kept rolling.
“Stop, Josh” I said a little louder. The car kept rolling, although it did slow. In a split-second, I could tell Josh was going to turn right on a red and I could see oncoming traffic starting to move. Why wasn’t Josh stopping? I started to panic.
“Josh STOP!!” I yelled, and he slammed on the brakes.
“Mom, you’re freaking me out,” Josh gasped.
“Josh, you’re freaking ME out!” I answered as we both sat there in shock. Josh explained that he thought I meant for him to slow down when I said “stop.” I didn’t have time to sort out his thought process on that one, because just then the light turned green and Josh turned right … legally and safely.
I told Josh I was sorry for yelling at him, he said he was sorry he didn’t listen to me and we were back on good ground. At least I thought so until seconds later a young guy who had been behind us at the light, pulled up on our left and motioned for us to roll down the window. Thinking there was something wrong with a tire, we did and he said, “Hey, if you are going to act like that, take your sticker off your car.” Then he sped off.
Josh was shaken and I was just plain mad. I knew he was talking about our church window decal and I alternated between anger at his judgmental attitude and shame that someone might think badly about God because of a driving incident. But anger was the predominate emotion. I couldn’t stand that someone would judge me or my son without knowing anything about us.
I stewed over that the whole day, until God started speaking to my spirit about a judgmental attitude I’d had earlier that week. Something had happened at church that I let bother me. It wasn’t a sin issue, merely an oversight on someone’s part. But it concerned me. In fact, I had worked it up in my mind their lack of attention was wrong and I was going to tell someone about it. For days I thought about how to say it and to whom. Then this happened.
I’m confident God allowed me experience the bitter side of judgment so that I would see how hurtful it is. My judgmental attitude at church was hindering my love and compassion for others.
That was a wake-up call for me to guard judgemental thoughts about people. It must really hurt God's heart when we do that to each other.
Thanks for joining me today. What do you think about this? Have you ever been judged?
In His Love,