“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1
I consider myself a non-judgmental person, willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt…in most cases. So, patting myself on the back, I leave my home to run errands, meet with friends and head to the library. Willing to share the Lord or offer help to people, I confidently amble onwards. Parking the car I walk toward the library as I see several teens with shaggy hair and pants, spitting on the sidewalk, talking loudly and either ignoring or sneering at me.
“Do you know Jesus?” I say. No. I did not say that or anything close to it. As a matter of fact, I did not speak but gave them a cold (or worse, judgmental) stare as I passed by, clearly showing my irritation with them!
Once inside, I was friendly and chatty with the person checking out my books and DVD’s (Yes, David is really a nice man. So friendly and well versed.)
Back in my car it hit me. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I saw how superficial my friendliness and congeniality were, how judgmental I was; willing to make judgments on people without knowing them or their life. I was not, as Jesus commands, loving them. Instead, I was condemning them. My thoughts were not about their immortal souls or their eternal destination. My attitude was not Christ-like…not even a little (Luke 6:32-35). Oh Lord, thank you for your forgiveness, for giving me a clean slate as I cry out in repentance.
Luke 6:37-38 “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.” See Matt. 6:14 on forgiveness.
Romans 14:10-13 “So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.’ See Isaiah 45:23
1Corinthians 4:5 “So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.”
James 4:11-12 “Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?”
Simply put: Who am I to judge? Judging is God’s job and He will take care of it. My job is to love my neighbor and help those in need. I am also commanded to forgive…everyone! See Matthew 6:14-15