Wednesday, November 9, 2011
"Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Do you think when you pass judgment...and do the same [sins] yourself, you'll escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?"
We've all fallen in the trap of being judgmental. We see someone doing something we think we'd NEVER do, and we think, "Wow, how could she do something like that? She's clearly not as close to Christ as I thought." Or we pompously thank God that we're Christians and aren't out there doing "worldly" things. We cringe a little when someone mentions that she hasn't been to church in weeks. Or conversely, we're totally surprised when certain people are in church or trying to get to closer to God. "What is SHE doing here? I know she can't think we believe that she's turned her life around. She's not fooling anybody..."
After I finished reading Frances Chan's book Crazy Love, I realized there were things missing from my Christian walk. I wasn't doing a good job of turning my Christian walk into a daily experience. The way we do that is through our dealings with others, and by remembering daily that we are nothing, and it's only because of God's "kindness and tolerance and patience" that we're even able to repent of our sins and call ourselves Christians. God shows us unlimited favor, His grace and mercy, each and every day. He doesn't treat us the way we deserve to be treated, or condemn us on account of our sinful nature (Romans 12:1, Psalms 103:10,17). So why do we feel we can do the same to others, especially those of the household of faith?
The next time you're tempted to judge someone's actions, remember today's passage. When we judge another person, we are only condemning ourselves because we too sin and fall short. All of us do. None of us deserves God's glory. None of us deserves His salvation. All of us are in this together--we're all saved under grace through faith, and not of our own goodness, but rather because God gave us the amazing gift of Christ Jesus, His Son.