Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

Judge & Jury – or – Curious & Loving

Neither do I (Jesus) condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more

(John 8:11 ESV – emphasis mine)

When we look at other people around us, what do we see?

Do we see the person, either man or woman, who is unique, saved by grace, fully loved by God; who is on a journey, who is full of potential, and is waiting for God to show them the pathway they should take; they are eager to serve and please him who rescued them, waiting fervently, patiently, ready for the opportunity to show others what has happened in their life, and how theirs could be different?

Do we see that?

Or do we see, the drug addict, coming down off their last fix, vomiting everywhere, sweaty, stumbling around, rambling and incoherent? Do we see a woman at her lowest ebb, wandering the streets day and night, trying to score whatever helps her through the day? Do we see the dire need of the desperate person who has just stolen some food from a shop, stolen something with which they can feed their child, in order that they may not be hungry?

Do we see that?

Do we think that at times, we maybe walk around with blinkers on, only seeing what we want to see, and missing the bigger picture?

Are we sometimes too quick to judge?

I know I have been guilty of that, and in far better circumstances. I have judged without a second thought, on what I see, what I perceive that person to be like; and generally, I have been very wide of the mark. The person I have wrongly judged, has turned out to be a really good and pleasant person; willing to help others without thought for themselves, willing to help even me at the slightest request. If only they had known, what I thought about them; how different they may have acted, and justly too.

Why do many of us feel the need to judge others?

To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave’ (Elvis Presley).

Are we too, not just as guilty in our own sin?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23 NIV).

No-one alive is perfect. The only perfect man ever to have lived, live a long time ago and yet we crucified him;

made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation’ (Hebrews 5:9 ESV).

Jesus actually told us;

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.’ (Matthew 7:1 NIV).

When we turn to Christ, we leave the old part of our lives in the past; the world seems to struggle with this part, but the old part of our lives is no longer relevant to us, we do not want it, God has forgiven us for it (Hebrews 8:12), we have left them and our old life behind us, we no longer live there, we live for God, in the light of his word, in the warmth of his love, and in eternal hope, we live in the present;

if anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation. The old has passed away’ (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV – emphasis mine).

We need to remember that we have all come to this point in our lives, by different means, some may have found life easy, others may find it hard, some will find temptation an easier thing to walk away from, others may go hand-in-hand with temptation for a while, until they see the light. Whatever pathway brought us to where we are at present, we can always remember that God loves us, and loves us so much, that he sent Jesus to die for us (John 3:16).

Everyone has untold stories of pain and sadness that make them love, and live a little differently than you do. Stop judging, instead try to understand.’ (Anonymous)

We should not judge people about their life, and how far they have yet to go, we should help them to recognise and celebrate the journey so far, and how far they have come, and also, if we are too busy being judgemental, we may forget to close our closet, and the skeletons may start to fall out.

When you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart’ (Russian Proverb).

And most of all, we should remember the following;

If you judge people, you have no time to love them’ (Mother Teresa)

I was nowhere, You came to my rescue
From the grave I’ve been raised
When I needed a saviour to save me
Jesus, You made a way
I was blind, but these eyes have been opened
Now I walk in the light
Ev’ry step on this road I will follow
Jesus, You made a way

You are the way 
You are the way
Lost and dead, but Your love came to find me
Jesus You are the way
Jesus, the only way
Jesus, the only way

All my days are secure in Your promise Never standing alone
You’re the truth, You’re the life, You’re my future
Jesus, You made a way
I’m alive in that love that You give me
Free to dance once again
You will lead me from glory to glory Jesus, You made a way

You are the way
You are the way
You’re the light shining bright in the darkness
Jesus You are the way

The Way (Pocketful of Faith #10)

B. Cantelon, N. Herbert & T. Hughes

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Father we thank you for the salvation offered to us by the death and resurrection of your Son. Help us each and every day to be worthy of the sacrifice he made. Help us to not live in the past, and to love and not judge others. Lord it is so easy to be moved by the world, and help us to remember to live in but not be of this world.

Amen

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