Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Judging Others (Luke 6:37-42)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
It is amazing to me how smug some people can be, especially in the church.  They walk around acting like they have no problems in the world.  They act as if they are completely good and have never done anything bad in their lives.  Because they have this idea that they are perfect, they feel justified in judging others.  I'm not talking about a person keeping another person accountable.  I'm talking about a person who points the finger in accusation and forgets that they were once a sinner too.
So how should a follower of Christ respond to a person who is living in sin?  Jesus says that whatever measuring stick we use, it will be used with us.  In other words, whatever basis you use to judge someone, that same basis will be used when judging you too.  Yikes.  If you condemn someone for their sins, you will be condemned for yours.  If you judge someone for their sins, you will be judged also.

That's a scary notion right there.  I have been judged by people in the church and let me tell you, it doesn't feel good.  In fact, it makes me angry.  It makes me want to leave.  If I were not already walking with Christ, I would be in trouble.  If I were judged by the people before the Spirit had a chance to work a transformation in my life, I would be gone before it could begin.  Church, that's the opposite of our mission.  How can we tell the good news to all the nations of the world, baptize, and make disciples if we judge and condemn them before they hear the good news?  We can't.  We shouldn't.  Let God be the judge.  He is truly righteous and His judgement is fair and just!

He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?  The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

This is just a ridiculous visual image.  If a man is blind, how can he lead anyone anywhere?  He can't! Well, okay, maybe he could, but it would end badly for the man leading and the man following him.  In the same way, the student does not know more than the teacher, especially not when the teaching has just begun.  Yet, the student can be like the teacher after he has been fully trained.

“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? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Talk about ridiculous images!  Imagine the guy with a plank of wood sticking out of his eye trying to take the speck out of another guy's eye!  Isn't that crazy?  Jesus says, this is what it is like when one man judges another when he has no right to do so.  It's like, I judge you and condemn you for this thing that you have done and tell you what you should be doing to fix your life.  All the while, I have ignored the stuff in my life that I should be fixing.  It is so big and obvious to everyone else, yet I ignore it.  This is just wrong!  How dare I try to tell someone else what to do or how to do it when I have not done it myself!

"Do as I say and not as I do."
That, my friends, is hypocrisy.

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
- Brennan Manning -

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