Judgement Free Zone
If there is one thing this pandemic has done it has turned a lot of people into highly opinionated and judgmental people. So many people seem to think they know the answer to every problem and think that are right and others are wrong. A popular gym has had the slogan for a while, “Judgement Free Zone”. That’s what the church of Jesus Christ ought to be. The truth of the matter is that a great deal of judgement comes out of the church.
Why should the church be judgement free? First and fore most because of the words of Jesus. The first verse that comes to my mind is Matthew 7:1 where Jesus said “Judge not or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Jesus promises in this passage that when we judge others, we will in turn be judged by others.
A parallel passage in Luke 6:37 & 38 also says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
I find in these passages that it would much better for all concerned that we not be in the habit of judging each other. When we set ourselves up as the judge, we are making ourselves better than anyone else. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to set myself up as better than others. I know myself too well. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:2, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else and not your own lips.”. We need to make sure that we examine our own hearts and minds to discover whether we are right with God.
What should we be doing regarding our relationship with friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors and church family members? I believe that the only law that will really help us to navigate the pandemic is what is known as the “law of love”. Jesus said in Matthew 22:36-40 when asked by the young lawyer, “Rabbi, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied; “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
What Jesus was saying was that if we love God with every fiber of our being then we will have no problem obeying what HE says. When we truly love God, we will then live like we love HIM. The second commandment is a little more difficult because we are then having to overlook others faults and inconsistencies in order to love them. They aren't perfect and neither are we. Can you just imagine what our world would be like if everyone was to follow the law of love? We would never want to do anything to hurt someone else, so that would affect our behavior.
In the Old Testament book of Micah, the prophet shares these words of wisdom which are still applicable today. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” This can be boiled down to doing the right thing, that’s what it means to act justly. It’s not always easy but it can be done. Obey the laws of the land even when you disagree with them. Loving mercy means that you appreciate the mercy that has been shown to you and you in turn will show mercy to others. I’ve discovered in my life that the longer I live, the more mercy I’m willing to show. When I err, it is almost always on the side of grace and mercy. The final ingredient of this passage is that of walking humbly with my God. I’m thankful that God allows me to walk with Him and that is only by the grace of God. It’s my desire to live out the song that I sing, “Just a closer walk with thee, grant it Jesus if you please. Daily walking close to thee, let it be dear Lord, let it be.”
Praying for you,
Pastor Don shares from his heart in the "Calvary Connection"