Tuesday, June 30, 2015
"Don't Judge Me!" (Part 2)
Yesterday, I addressed the absurdity of the "don't judge me!" statements. A huge problem today is that the concept of not judging is fraught with equivocations. We, as Christians, are supposed to recognize truth from false, good from evil. That requires judgement. We're supposed to point out sin (lovingly, of course) in the hopes that it will save the person from death and cover over a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20) We should never judge someone as being unredeemable or not worth it, but judging - when correctly applied - is something we are called to do, not something to avoid.
Providing a thoughtful commentary on an issue that is spotlighted in society is something we ought to do as Christians. I don't expect those who don't know Jesus to act like they do. I hope you don't either. But that doesn't mean we can't have a meaningful, thoughtful, loving conversation as Christians about a particular issue to show others in the church that certain behavior is not compatible with the Christian life.
Jesus didn't condemn the woman caught in adultery. He told the Pharisees that if any of them were sinless to cast the first stone. They all walked away. Jesus could have stoned her. He had every right. But he didn't. Jesus didn't condemn, but he did judge. "Go and sin no more." That's a judgement.
Jesus provides the example we are to emulate.
We ought to judge. The passage in Matthew referenced yesterday is commanding Christians to take care of the sin in their own lives before telling a brother or sister what's wrong in their life. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" You hyprocrite! Jesus cries.
But he doesn't tell us not to judge them, just to take care of our sinfulness first. "First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
Speak the truth in love. Even if it's tough love, make sure it's in love. And make sure that you're willing to help your brother or sister remove the speck from their eye if you're going to call them out on it.
(original picture source)