I am in the process of reading Rob Bell’s book, “What is the Bible” and I am loving it. So some of my post are inspired by what this book sparks.
Today, I wanted to discuss Judgment. Not God’s but man’s. I am reminded of when the man called Jesus, “Good” and Jesus rebuked him. If Jesus even rebuked a “Good Judgment” how much more should we guard from judging at all. I am not qualified to judge, and like most I struggle with labeling and passing judgment on people everyday. However, where does this self-righteous negativity come from?
Jesus brought about a lot of different approaches to life and one main one, that many in the church still miss today, is, “DO NOT JUDGE!”
Many who judge, believe that their judgements are in line with what God thinks and so not only are they justified, but they are only naturally extending God’s point of view and opinion. They even have scripture to back up what they think. “Its not what I think, but what God has said!” They say.
However, most of what produces this kind of thinking and mindset, comes from a wrong idea of who God is and what God is doing. I am reminded of the story of Jonah. (This is directly inspired by Rob’s book. It was a major AHA for me). Jonah was told by God to go warn one of Israel’s biggest enemies. He refused to go and you know the story, had to be forced to carry out God’s command. When he did, an amazing thing happened, the “Enemy” repented. Now you would think, Jonah would be happy, but he wasn’t, he got depressed. He didn’t like that God wanted to show mercy to those, he didn’t feel deserved it. God’s heart toward the Nenevites, did not line up with Jonah’s heart. You mean Jonah, one of the Bible’s heroes and prophets got it wrong? Yes! The Bible is a beautiful book, not because of it’s perfection, but because of its honesty and transparency. It is full of “Great people of Faith” getting it wrong and a lot!
Judgement always gets it wrong, because at it’s center is the wrong idea. It presupposes, that God is after Justice and retribution, when in fact God is after reconnection, redemption and relationship. In ancient times God and the gods were seen as wrathful and hard to appease and were ready to express their anger and disappointment. However, Christ revealed the true nature of God. Remember when the men brought the woman caught in adultry? (They gave the man a free pass). They had the law to back them, up. They even attempted to school Jesus on what it said. Aren’t we supposed to stone this women caught in sin? Jesus, declared, “He who is without sin, should cast the first stone.” They were left to judge themselves first and then one by one they left, without the ability to toss even a small pebble. Then Jesus, declared an amazing truth. He asked the woman, where are your accusers? SHe said there are none. HE said and neither do I judge you, go and sin no more. Wait, you mean God in the form of Christ did not want to judge this woman? Exactly!
God is not American, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or anything else that we label ourselves. God is Love!
When we judge another, it says more about our wrong idea of God and who God is than it does about the one we are judging. You may not agree with someone’s beliefs or ideas or life, but you are commanded to do two things, 1.) Do not Judge and 2.) Love them!
That is all!