“You size people up and write them off, walk away, or refuse to listen. We all do it. But if the sin of others doesn’t break your heart, it’s probably because your heart has never been broken over your own sin. Self-righteousness is the thing Jesus despised most. Judge not.”~Andy Stanley
Jesus despised self-righteous judging.
Are you guilty?
Have you ever sized someone up by their appearance, a rumor, or something written in the news or on social media?
Have you ever said:
- Shame on them . . .
- How could he . . .
- I can’t believe she . . .
- I would never . . .
I wish I could say I’ve never been guilty. I can’t.
Nothing destroys our ability to love others well—like sin labeling and finger-pointing.
Sin labeling decides which sins are the “big ones.” Of course they’re the ones we don’t think we do. The ones that make us comfortable with picking up our word stones and flinging them with all our might.
But Jesus said:
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”Matthew 7:1–2
I don’t want God to judge me the same way I’ve judged others. I want grace, mercy, compassion, and understanding.
I don’t want others to judge me either. I want them to look past the surface, the rumors, and assumptions. I want them to care enough to get to know me without sizing me up and writing me off.
How about you? Are you comfortable being judged the way you judge others? How do you feel when other people judge you without taking the time to care and understand?
I’m uncomfortable with labeling and hurtful comments made about those who don’t follow Jesus, but I grieve when believers point fingers and throw word stones at each other.
Why are we happy when others fall? Why doesn’t it break our hearts and drive us to our knees? Why are we so quick to add labels like hypocrite or Pharisee to our brothers and sisters?
Just because Jesus publicly called out the “Pharisees” and hypocrites . . . it’s not okay for us to do the same.
Jesus knew the hearts of men, and He was sinless. If you and I can’t say the same, and we can’t . . . we’re sinners, then we have no right to publicly shame anyone.
Love is our job. Love is our calling. Love is God’s command to us.
Judging comes from pride, and we have nothing to be proud of.
We are not graded on a curve. We are sinners saved by grace. That’s it!
“We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 15:11 (Barnabas and Paul)
3 Ways to Stop the Judging Jesus Despised and Love Well
That’s it. Although I do have a few things that will help you get started:
1. Stop believing stereotypes – dig deeper and get to know people . . . you might be surprised.
2. Put yourself in their place – if you haven’t had their experiences you can’t understand their choices.
3. Avoid the social media bandwagon – I know it’s tempting to add your rants to a social media take down post . . . but don’t do it. Just don’t! Public shaming doesn’t benefit anyone!
4. Make kindness and compassion your goal – it will make loving so much easier.
Finally, if you know about someone whose choices are setting them up for disaster or are hurting someone else, follow Jesus directions in Matthew 18:15–19. Go to them with caring and love, and offer them gentle truth. Soft words spoken with compassion are easier to hear and just might help them make changes and protect them from devastating consequences.
Finally some wisdom from Henri Nouwen:
“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their “right” place.”
May we refuse to do the things Jesus despised and do better at reaching out with His great love.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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