“Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:3
Confession time, I judge others. There I said it and I am not really sure there is anything wrong with that but let me explain why.
The Lord tells us not to judge, lest we be judged and of course I agree with that, however, I do not agree with the world’s view of judgement. Another version of this verse is: “Watch yourselves! If your brother or sister sins, warn them to stop. If they change their hearts and lives, forgive them.” The words brother/sister are not meant to be biological sibling but instead sibling in Christ. The word judgement or to judge is interpreted differently within today’s society, even some Christians, as it was described by Christ.
As a fellow Christ follower I should be holding my siblings accountable for their actions and they should be doing the same for me. The outside world and even some who call themselves Christians call this judgement but it is not the judgement Christ was referring to. Because I love my sisters and brothers in Christ I want them to be reconciled with the Lord and sometimes that means, because they may not see it themselves, I need to address an issue or behavior they are having. It is my desire that their relationship with Christ grows and nothing, no amount of sin, stands in their way of that relationship. I would hope my sisters or brothers do the same for me.
When Christ said not to judge, lest we be judged, He was referring to non-believers. He will handle their sin, we (Christians) do not need to point it out to them. That does not mean that we cannot preach about sin, giving examples from a Biblical standpoint but to point it out directly to a non-believer will not reconcile them to Christ because they haven’t yet experienced a relationship with Him that needs to be reconciled. So our job isn’t to judge them but to love them like Jesus and sharing the “Good News” of eternal life through salvation. He will judge their sin as well as ours but we can alert fellow believers of the actions we see them taking, moving them away from God, so that it draws them closer to Him. I don’t want to get to Heaven only to wait to experience it while Christ asks me why I did not ask for forgiveness of this sin or that, so I am grateful for those who help reconcile me to Him when I have strayed.
Since I did start this post with “confession time” I will admit that I, too, have “judged” others in a non-loving way without the desire to reconcile anyone to Christ. This is my sin to which I have occasionally had to ask for forgiveness from the person and from God. Because I am human, with a sinful nature, there have been times when I have thought to myself things like: that lady should not be wearing clothes that make things hang out, they must be abusive parents, all she does is shop all day even though she complains about not having any money, etc. These are such hateful things to be thinking and although it doesn’t happen often, it can still happen when my heart and head are not aligned with Christ. I have actually apologized to people about things they had no idea occurred, talk about humiliating, but my heart is convicted every time because I desire the Lord and He desires me.
This specific post came about because recently there has been a lot of talk over the media regarding a famous person who made a choice that was not aligned with God. My niece, Kristi, chose to stand up for what she believed in and got some backlash because of it. I am so proud of her for voicing her opinion in a loving way. I do not believe she was being judgemental just sharing her heart in regards to what the Bible says about this particular behavior. She was attempting to reconcile her “Christian” friends, who thought this media issue was okay but was not aligned with the Bible, to see a little clearer so that they may be on the same page as God. Some told her she needed to respect the person’s decision and not treat them any different as those who they wanted to be like. That is not Biblical. I am so proud of her for loving God enough to take a stand; she is getting closer to being a proverbs 31 woman.
Not Yet But Getting There! (notyetproverbs31)