“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
We Christians are an awfully judgmental group of people aren’t we? I find that highly ironic considering how much we espouse, “judge not, lest ye be judged”. Why do we do that? Are we any better than the rest of the world? Absolutely, positively no! Not just no, but hell no! Yet we sit on thrones of our own making, passing out judgement on those different than we are.
“They aren’t wearing the right clothes, they don’t drive the right car or live in the right neighborhood. Their clothes are too expensive, I can’t believe they spent that kind of money on a car or to live in that neighborhood.”
“Oh my god, cross the road, there are homeless people on that side, or black people, or Hispanics. You can’t be friends with them, they are Mormon, or atheist, or Hindu. She’s having an affair. He’s gay, or she’s lesbian. She has a tattoo. Look at those piercings.”
Judge not, lest ye be judged.
You get the idea. How many of us have said or at least thought some of those very things? I know I have and could probably fill this entire page with more of the same. It makes me sick. It makes me ashamed of myself. Sometimes when I see this kind of ignorance and hatred, it makes me ashamed to say I’m a Christian. If I was the one being judged by people like me, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t care to know the Christ they profess.
And I have to say to myself, “judge not, lest ye be judged”.
Christ hung out with the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the very dregs of society. And yes, eventually, he did confront their sin – but not before he cultivated a relationship with them or at the very least approached them in love and humility, not in judgement.
He loved first.
His character spoke for itself. I struggle with that every day. Loving people. Looking past whatever is on the outside to see what has marked their heart.
And yes, the tattoo in the picture is mine! And yes, I have been judged for it and am sure I will be again. But I’m getting past needing to have the approval of other people to feel validated. Well, at least I’m working on it. I’m pretty sure God’s not worried about it either so I don’t feel the need to justify why I did it. The ink under my skin has no bearing on what’s marked in my heart.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “