One area I see this repeatedly is in the judgment of others. Whether it is a political race or family members, friends or social media acquaintances, judging others seems to be what people do best. It is what followers of the bible seem to do best.
In Luke 6:37 it says, " Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
At no point in this scripture passage does it say that judging others is a good thing. At no point in there does it say that judging is your first priority in life and all other endeavors should fall by the wayside. At no point does it say that you should judge others or condemn others.
In fact, if you follow the bible, you should be forgiving others more than condemning and judging them. You should be accepting them as they are, not as you think they should be. You should not be playing the role of the God you worship by acting as if you can judge others.
I grew up in a family where judgment was the norm of the day. No, we didn't claim it was judgment or condemnation. We didn't see that we were judging others. We didn't even know that we were judging and condemning. Yet, we practiced it as if it was the only precept in life to follow.
When we got home from church, it was that gossip that we shared that was judging those we rolled our eyes at. Sometimes, we didn't even wait until we got home from church. The judgment was in those prayer meetings where someone would go on and on about another member almost as if they were preaching to them. The condemnation was whispered in the hallways of the church.
Judgment and condemnation was so common place that if someone didn't attend the church we went to, we were taught to consider them lost and going to hell. If someone went into a place of business we did not think was almighty righteous, then we were taught they were going to hell. If someone did not say the things we felt they should say or listen to the music that we felt they should listen to, we were taught they were going to hell.
If you did not want to be condemned and judged, then there was an unwritten code in the family and church that you would follow. Often the rules were made up on the spot with the father of the family or the pastor of the church making the determination of who was right and who was wrong. They were the judge. You learned to follow the rules so you would not be judged and condemned.
In these days, I see so many judging and condemning others. Whether it is issues concerning gays or if someone is a patriot or a liberal or conservative, anyone who disagrees with the religious pharisees of our day are considered lost and going to hell. They are judged and condemned.
The thing I don't understand though is Jesus also said, "love one another as I have loved you". Love is not condemnation or judgment. Love is acceptance in the purest form without strings attached.
So if the religious pharisees of our day claim that they follow the bible and they follow God or Jesus, would they not be obliged to stop judging and condemning one another. Would they not be obliged to live their life loving one another, rather than spewing the hatred that they so strongly dish out? Maybe they are so blind that they cannot see this.
Do not judge is an area the entire world could do better. Do not judge could be more helpful for the overall survival of our civilization and planet. Do not judge or condemn could actually help us to work together for a common good.
Maybe if we are going to judge one another and claim the good book tells us to do this, we might just want to read what it says before we go hitting each other over the head with it. I don't believe the bible's intended purpose is of hitting people out of judgment and condemnation.
Blog Post And Images (c) 2/18/16 by Don Shetterly
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