Judge Not

So in the wake of the Chik-Fil-A controversy (that I will not touch in this blog or any other social media outlet) I have been pondering the subject of judging. I used to be quite judgemental in my younger years, and now I attempt to be honest and authentic without passing judgement.  I do not succeed of course, because inside all of us is the temptation to rank ourselves compared to others and decide who is “better” or “righter” (I know it’s not a word but I like it, don’t judge me!) We do it in marriage, friendships, work and church relationships. We do it with politics, Hollywood celebrities, homeless people and addicts. It matters not whether I know a person deeply or saw them in a TV ad, I am just as able to judge if I so choose. It’s a temptation Jesus addresses in scripture with a very simple statement: Judge not, lest ye be judged. (Apparently I memorized that verse from the King James Version, which is weird because I never used the KJV) Bottom line: stop judging people! But it’s so hard isn’t it? It’s so easy to look at someone else’s mistakes, or reactions and form opinions about what they are like, why they are wrong, what they ought to do differently. Perhaps the most amusing form is those who judge the “judgers”.

“I can’t believe the way they are so judgemental of _______” (homeless, gays, addicts, republicans, democrats, Muslims…) “I would never act that way!” (pot, meet kettle)

What God has taught me in my years of humbling and growing in this area, is my judgement of others is usually a reflection of my lack of understanding about my own sin and need for grace. There is not a sin another person commits that when you boil it down I have not committed against God in some form. I may have never robbed a bank, but I have definitely wanted instant gratification. I may have never abused my children, but I have allowed myself to hurt others with my anger. It took me years and years of God revealing the wickedness in my heart to be able to understand that I needed grace as much as any other sinner. I find that now that I am really aware of how much I needed saving, I am so much more empathetic with others who struggle against sin and brokenness. It’s hard to judge others when I see us as being in the same boat. It was during these humbling years that I stumbled upon my favorite quote about my identity: I am just a beggar, leading other beggars to the Bread of Life. -Charles Spurgeon

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