Don’t Judge

I believe Matthew 7:1 the most quoted verse in the Bible, surpassing even John 3:16. What most people who throw this verse around mean by it is that they can do whatever they want whenever they want, regardless of the consequences to them or others, and no one can hold them accountable for their actions.

That’s not what the verse means.

On the other side, I see people who take actions that may or may not be isolated, i.e. not wearing masks, voting Republican (or Democrat), and use those to make an assessment of that person’s character, intentions, and motives.

I do not have the right to decide what kind of person you are what I see you doing. I don’t know your context. I don’t know your history. I don’t know that I might have done the same or worse if I had walked in your proverbial shoes for a day or so.

I do believe the Bible calls us to hold each other accountable for our actions, especially those that don’t line up with what we profess to believe. I don’t have the right to determine your eternal destiny based on those actions if I don’t know you.

The Bible does say that we will all have to give account for our actions some day. We will ultimately be held accountable for all the good and bad we’ve done. That’s God’s job, not mine.

The best way is always the way of compassion. That does not mean that we automatically endorse every action, but we choose to be kind even in the face of things we don’t agree with. We may disagree or rebuke, but it is in love and kindness.

The best example I learned recently is when Jesus washed the feet of Judas, the one He knew would later betray Him. Was that an endorsement of the betrayal? Of course not. Was that showing love? Absolutely.

We can dislike a person’s actions and still love the person. God does that with us all the time. Look at the supreme act of love when Jesus forgave His enemies when they were in the very act of murdering Him.

I think if we took more time to make sure our lives matched our words and our actions matched our professions of faith, we’d have way less time to judge and condemn others.

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