Day 6: Judging/Mercy

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“Love the sinner, hate the sin? How about: Love the sinner, hate your own sin! I don’t have time to hate your sin. There are too many of you! Hating my sin is a full-time job. How about you hate your sin, I’ll hate my sin and let’s just love each other!” – Mark Lowry

source: thewoodenshoes

I feel like the church does an awful lot of judging others’ sins considering that Jesus tells us very clearly in Matthew 7, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.”

We talked this week in Sunday School about judging and discerning. While I find it absolutely pertinent that Christians be able to discern what is sin … why do we spend so much time worrying and talking about others’ sins?

It’s because we like to think everyone else’s sins are worse than ours, don’t we?

I didn’t get pregnant at 16. I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t get divorced. I didn’t …

Several places in the Book of Matthew, the Pharisees criticize Jesus and His disciples for being “unlawful” or acting like they “shouldn’t” act. In Matthew 9, they scoff at Jesus for eating with “scum” (Matt. 9:11 NLT). In Matthew 12, the disciples plucked some heads off wheat stalks to eat – on the Sabbath. The Pharisees considered this harvesting on the Sabbath.

Both times, Jesus references the same Old Testament passage from Hosea. “You would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices,’ ” Jesus said in Matthew 12:7.

When we go around pointing out others’ sins, is that offering mercy – compassion for the undeserving?

I’m doubting very few people have come to know Christ by Christians approaching them and telling them they are going to hell because of such and such a sin. I mean, maybe I’m wrong. But I think a true relationship with Christ is founded on His amazing love.

If we share Christ’s love – a love SO great that He died for all of those sins – every one, making a scorch mark on our souls – THAT is the Gospel that will change people.

All of us are black with sin before God. It doesn’t matter what those sins are. So let’s spend time “removing the planks from our own eyes” instead of claiming someone else’s sin is worse than our own. Let God do His own judging. Instead, I think a movement of mercy is what will change our world.

One thought on “Day 6: Judging/Mercy

  1. I think you already know my feelings on this– and that I agree with you. I also have to admit that what REALLY rubs me the wrong way might not even be the judging… quite frankly, it is part of our flawed human nature to try to judge. It’s when people try to act as though they’re doing the “other person” (read: “the sinner”) a favor by pointing out all the ways they’ve veered from the path of righteousness. As if, not only is it okay to judge and criticize, it is, in fact, a Christ-like act. That makes me squirmy.

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