I don't know the exact level of irony that will be displayed in what I am about to share, but I do know that this post may be perceived as having been woven with a substantial amount of irony. Given that it seems as though I may be judging others who are judging others for judging them. Yeah, that just happeed.
So, here goes.
There seems to be a surge of memes posted online demanding that others not judge them. To drive the point home? They quote Jesus.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged."
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
Seems straight forward, right? Jesus said don't judge, so people shouldn't judge me, right? I don't think that was His point.
I think this teaching falls under the same category as so many teachings I've sat under, as soon as I hear the word spoken, I think of someone else who should hear it. Funny how that works. We are always so quick to apply the commands of God to other people, instead of ourselves.
We always want to be forgiven, but struggle with forgiveness.
We declare "Don't judge me!", yet often judge others.
We say others should be generous to us, but find that we withhold.
We remind others of unconditional love, yet have many filters on our own.
Jesus tells the story of an unmerciful servant in Matthew 18. To summarize what occurred, a servant was forgiven a pretty significant debt by his king. Shortly thereafter, he ran into an old friend that owed him a pretty minor debt and had him thrown into prison when the friend was unable to repay him. When the king heard this, he had some pretty harsh words for the servant and then reinstated the debt, throwing his butt into prison.
I understand that forgiveness is a very specific topic, one that should not be glossed over, but I believe that this command against judging others should be grouped in with forgiveness relative to its application.
Jesus never commanded that we not judge others so that we might avoid being judged by people, but rather so that we might avoid being judged by God. I'm not suggesting that we won't be held accountable for our (in)actions, because we will. I'm merely stating that the purpose of His command was that we might address the issues in our own hearts and make adjustments.
The world as each of us knows it would change dramatically for the better if we simply stopped concerning ourselves with what judgements other people made of us and spent some time judging our own hearts and motives. We need to take down our "Don't judge me!" banners and begin the work of becoming renewed.
Trust me, if you are overly concerned with what others think of you and spend time defending yourself, you will spend very little time with the Holy Spirit searching out the real issues in your heart and making the necessary adjustments. Once in defense mode, it's hard to let God show us what is broken.
I can only tell you what I, myself, have gone through. Or rather, what I am still going through. So, don't worry! You are good company.
Can we all agree to stop posting those stupid memes now?
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