Judging others

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Luke 6:37 NIV

This statement by Jesus strikes home.  Where do you encounter the most judgmental people?  I suggest in churches.  For incomprehensible reasons, church-going Christians are perhaps the worse.     

Have you ever been informed by well-meaning but strangely misguided folks that you don’t have salvation because what you believe does not align perfectly with what they believe?  For example, my wife and I were baptized in the River Jordon, about 1/2 mile upstream of where it is believed that Jesus was baptized.  Guess what?  According to some folks, our baptism doesn’t count and we don’t have salvation because it wasn’t performed by a pastor of and in a church having a particular name.  Ridiculous!  We forgive them, but cannot imagine where they latched onto such crazy thinking.  These kinds of legalistic comments drive visitors away from worshiping with them, and they can’t figure out why their church is shrinking.  I suggest this practice is one big reason attendance and membership have been steadily declining over the years.   

This is one of many examples that I could share with you.  I suspect you can cite others from your own personal experiences.  

There’s a popular saying today that fits Jesus’s teaching.  It’s “don’t judge me because my sin is different from your sin.”  This expression is a great paraphrase of today’s Bible verse.  

Have you been falsely judged?  Have you falsely judged others?  Are you quick to forgive?  

Prayer:  Forgive us, God, for the times we’ve been judgmental and overlooked our own sins.  Amen

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