Romans 2:1…”for whatever point you judge (use verdict on) the other, you are condemning (sentencing to punishment) yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”
Often sins most clearly noticed in others are ones that have taken root in us. Are we maybe committing the same sins only in more socially acceptable forms? Are we saying one thing to someone hypocritically and then doing it in a way we don’t think is the same? Do we not like that ‘something’ we know about someone else, but refuse to see that ‘different form’ in us? For instance, do you wonder ‘what people are thinking’ when they hear about ‘another’s adultery,’ but you fail at holding yourself accountable for mentally thinking about someone other than your own spouse during the day and think nothing is wrong?
In the bible there is a parable about a woman committing adultery and the casting of the first stone. The people with the stones had judged her and wanted to give her what she deserved. The law stated if a woman was found in adultery she was to be stoned to death. She had went against the law. But what is better? Truly put yourself in her place. If that was you and your particular sin, would you want justice or mercy? Shouldn’t we treat others the way we want to be treated? The bible says love covers a multitude of sins. But what about the sin? Jesus says to the woman in John 8:10… “Has no one condemned you?” She says, “no one, sir.” Verse 11: “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” He didn’t condemn or ignore the woman’s sin. The woman has been spared her life even though sinning against God. And ‘leave your life of sin’ would tell her that Jesus wanted her to change, that he didn’t approve of her doing this. Sin is never of God and Jesus cannot dwell with sin. He loved her but not her sin. She needed and desired a change of heart through all this and would need Jesus’s help. Why? She realized she had been forgiven much. She was being given a chance for a new life and needed to deal with her sin. Jesus is the only way sin can be dealt with. She is dependent upon Jesus to provide her with grace and all she needs to change and live this new life.
How about judging by ‘the worlds’ standards; power, wealth, status, and beauty? These ways are not from Christ, they are from the world. Jesus and his word are not of this world and you should not want to be either. These worldly standards are only distractions that will lead you down a disappointing road. They will only serve to entangle you and waste your time in the end. These are not lasting values nor will they be brought with us when we leave this world. If Jesus doesn’t focus on them why should you even care?
Here’s an example of what Jesus does want us to focus on… Let’s just look at the women that happen to be listed in Christ’s genealogy from Matthew 1. There are five. 1) Tamar – she prostituted herself with her father-in-law only to gain an heir. The story is found in Genesis 38 if you care to read the whole story. 2) Rahab – she was a prostitute who hid Israelite spies. 3) Ruth – a Moabite woman who came from pagan roots. 4) Uriah’s wife – committed adultery with King David. 5) Mary – Joseph’s wife; chosen to be the virgin mother of Jesus. Both Mary and Joseph are direct descendants of King David. All of these women had ordinary lives and none were pillars of society. And some we are even told of their shady reputations. But in reading their personal stories the main attraction to me is how afterwards they each had a growing heart for God if you will read their stories. This too shows us how we can and should come to him as we are and get to know him.
If Jesus can look beyond a person’s reputation, outside appearance, wealth, poverty, station in life, and all the rest, so can we. In fact we should and need to. If Jesus looks at a person’s heart, so should we. We need to practice this until we get it straight and of course we’ll need his help for we cannot do it by ourselves. Look to these five women as examples of how God looks at people. Women he chose to have in his ancestral background, noting them because of their heart, and not because of any of the other stuff of life.
Christ didn’t come to condemn. He came to save. Did you ever read about Jesus in a story where he didn’t ‘come with love’ to talk to a person about their sin? There was no loud voice, no oppressing against their will, no putting down, no intolerance, and no side-lining the issue. Only humbleness, lowliness, unconditional love, and grace. Isn’t he a totally wonderful example? The best example of how to treat and love the other person, and ourselves too.
One more thing. Jesus does want us to ‘judge’ right from wrong, or what is sin. His word, the bible, will give you the truth and discernment you will need to know on the difference between them. Some big issues of the day are in the bible too. Make sure you take the time for yourself and educate yourself. A bible believing church is also a good place for fellowship and hearing the word. Selfishness, haughtiness, pride, and hypocrisy are all just a few examples of sin. All are ‘heart’ issues, needing help cleaning it up. And Jesus is just the person to help you do it. Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” So true my friend, so true. May God bless you.
Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus is coming back one day!