We have come to a point where the lines have been blurred between correction, judgment, accountability, conviction, condemnation, etc. Because of this, people want to live their lives without anyone having anything to say about it, living and dying by the words “Only God can judge me.” To an extent, they have a point, but Jesus was given the power to judge (John 5:22). The only issue with that is that within the body of Christ, we have a responsibility to assist one another with staying in the narrow way. However, in our correction, the Bible tells us to restore GENTLY if we see someone going in the wrong direction (Galatians 6:1). The Bible also talks about dealing with your own sin before coming to tell someone about theirs (Matthew 7:3-5). So we have this narrow guideline by which we are supposed to govern ourselves when it comes to observing and commenting on the life others live.
So where did we go wrong?
In the world of entertainment, you can find criticism everywhere. Competitive shows where the contestants are judged on their performance, Fashion gurus talking about who wore it best in the magazines, even radio and talk shows with constant commentary on the life decisions and choices celebrities make. It’s all judgement. By participating in the world’s activities we have adopted this overly opinionated mentality. After watching our favorite TV programming, we walk into the church or log onto Facebook like we’re on The Talk or The View and start commenting on what everyone has going on, thinking we have the expertise to decide whether or not God is pleased with what Brother John Doe is doing. Who gave you a badge, that gave you the authority to judge a person’s life or even expression of God?
How should it actually be done?
First we need to remember that God loves everyone, right or wrong. If it weren’t true, that would unravel the entire message of the Gospel. God sent Jesus so that we all could experience God’s father attribute instead of His wrath. God has not commissioned us to portray his anger but his love. Jesus commissioned the disciples to make other disciples which is basically showing people how to live, not talking about the way they live.
So, when you cast your judgment, consider why you are making that statement. If you aren’t truly concerned about the person you’re judging, chances are you won’t be restoring them gently as mentioned above. What’s the purpose of calling out their sin? Are you trying to expose them or bring them back closer to God? While you’re talking about how rebellious they are, are you disappointed, angry, or resentful? Your personal state of being will affect whether or not what you say will reach that person and redirect them back to their savior. A moment of restoration could happen if only you could see them with God’s eyes. He sees past every bad decision and excuse they can make and only longs to see the part of Him that is being overshadowed by the power of darkness in that moment.
In short, what do I do?
Love people, be an example, check yourself first, and let God’s spirit guide you.
Let’s not judge for the sake of conversation, rather let’s restore for the sake of the Kingdom.