Human nature has us seeing the flaws in people fairly easily. It’s like there is this “thing” in us that automatically searches out the flaws in others. It’s not a good thing, Jesus addressed it in different ways, using the plank parable amongst many other teachings on being “self righteous or pious.” His entire time on earth was spent dealing with that “thing” in people. He was absolutely perfect, yet HE STILL WASNT GOOD ENOUGH for some people.
“People who go to hell deserve to be there. People who go to heaven do not deserve to be there. The first is justice, the second is grace.” – Dr. Steven Lawson
I can only be honest when I say that I have been guilty of this. What does being judgmental accomplish in any beneficial way? Does it help other people? Does it help you? No, it builds a wall inside us that gets so high and hard that no one can scale it or get in. And if no one can get in, then the love of Christ can’t get out. The Bible tells us to guard our hearts, not build a fortress around it out of pride. An inert need to feel “better than someone else”. “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” – do those words sound familiar? Or how bout “he without sin cast the first stone” – does that ring a bell?
Does that mean we openly condone sin in others? No, by no means. Sin is sin, it is wrong and could never be made right no matter who condones it. Take abortion for instance, it is a sin against God, yet the highest courts in the land uphold that is lawful to abort your child. Does this support from high ranking Government authority justify the breaking of Gods law “Thou shalt not murder” and abolish its sin? Absolutely not. No man can make sin right by condoning it or supporting it, Gods authority reigns supreme. Only Jesus Christ can save a human being from the lawful judgement of God for his sin, and not by just saying it’s ok. He bore the punishment making our justification righteous and true in Gods heavenly courts. He bore the wrath of it for us. He took on our sentence and paid it in full. Only by the grace of God, and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross are any of us able to stand before God.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” -Ephesians 2:8 KJV
So who are we to judge? Who appointed us to that authority? Unless you have been ordained unto an office in government that gives you said authority, it wasn’t God, more often than not it is the enemy using pride or a spirit of religiousity to separate us from others and even God because we have moved from Gods will of “love thy neighbor as yourself” and even “loving thy enemy!” The Pharisees couldn’t even see the Son of God for who he was because of their judgemental spirit of religiousity. They were blinded by pride and self righteousness – so much so that the hate drove them to persecute Jesus. Not even the demon possessed or the actual devil hounded Jesus as persistently as the Pharisees.
And here was Jesus, perfect and righteous, he could have absolutely cast the first stone at anyone he pleased but he did not. He said “I desire mercy not sacrifice”. In fact he told the Pharisees that they could not even understand what that meant. He had mercy, he requires us to have mercy, because see the sacrifice has been made. We cannot add anything to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, but by it we can obtain the mercy we personally need and can give to others. “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” – those are beautifully profound words.
So who are we who have been justified and forgiven not by any means of our own, so ready and able to judge and condemn those around us, as if by our own power we have been sanctified and forgiven? Freely we have received forgiveness, freely we must give forgiveness. We are not appointed to the seat of Judge, we are only those deserving his judgement, so who are we to wield the mighty gavel of God and bring down judgement upon those that are just like us – desperately in need of salvation through Christ Jesus.
The next time you feel a judgemental feeling or a judgemental thought come across your mind, pray for yourself as much and as hard as you pray for the forgiveness and correction of others. Replace “Father I pray this person sees how wretched they are with Father forgive me for forgetting where you found me”. Only The Holy Spirit can convict a persons heart, and only by the redemption of Christ Jesus can a person win over sin, to think that somehow our humanly judgement will aid in these processes is ludicrous- you can’t even save yourself how do you plan on saving others? In fact it works against the process. We must show the agape love of God we have now received in Christ to all.