Who are you to judge? How come people who are supposed to be representing the love of Christ are often the most guilty for judging others! We have all found ourselves judged or scrutinized by others at some point in our lives. For anything from what we are wearing, our political views, the people we hang out with, where we live, who we marry, etc…the list can go on and on! We judge others based on their perceived response to us, we judge others by their life choices, we judge others even by what they don’t do!
In our churches, referring to all churches, since we are the body of Christ, our number one task and commission by Christ was to love. Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself, love, love, love, love, love! (Mark 12:29-31) Judging others is not even close to love, it directly affects our ability to love. The bible over and over again lays out the obvious for what is right and what is wrong; what is a sin and isn’t a sin, and discipline follows. However, it does not give us permission to judge. Judgment is set aside for the final judgment day, where we will all be held accountable for our actions. But God sent his son, Jesus Christ, so grace and mercy might be extended to a perishing world. What would have been the point of God sending his son, Jesus, if judgment for all would still prevail. Christ was able to stand in the judgment seat for us, so we might be free from condemnation and grace may abound.
There is a difference between judgment and discipline. According to the Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, judgment means: a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion, the process of forming an opinion, or a proposition stating something believed or asserted. Discipline means: punishment, instruction, training that corrects, and self-control. We make judgments or opinions about people and it affects our ability to love them. Making wrong choices may lead to discipline, but the goal of discipline is to build character or correct wrong behavior. Parents discipline their children because they love them and want to build character and integrity in their child, but they do not judge them. In court, a judge carries out or assigns discipline based on actions and poor choices made by the accused, but he does not judge them.
I have found there is freedom in loving people and not judging. It is much more affective and beneficial to all; no wonder it was a commandment not a suggestion. It is not my responsibility to judge or condemn, but to love people unconditionally. It isn’t always easy, yet I desire to learn more and know more about how to love. Once we truly understand the love God has for people, and the love He had for humanity to send his One and only perfect Son to be judged and sacrificed for our benefit; it was the ultimate demonstration of love at its finest.