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Judgmental Christian Jerk

Judgmental Christian Jerk

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned . . . Luke 6:37

At our weekly jail meeting recently, one of the guys confessed that he struggled with judgmental, condescending thoughts. There he was, in jail himself for destructive behavior, while looking down on another inmate’s poor life decisions. The irony was not lost on him. He realized how absurd it was to be judgmental in his position, but still, in attempting to turn his own life around and follow God, it became natural for him to look down upon his fellow inmates.

I get that. I’ve done horrible things myself, but now that I’ve been sober for a few years, it’s so easy to judge others for their persistent stupidity. I’ve cleaned up my mess. Why don’t you work on yours? What’s wrong with you?

This is a profound problem for Christians. Once we place our faith in God, we believe ourselves to be on the right path. The problem though, is that we’re not made perfect when we come to Christ. We’re still prideful, self-centered people, retaining a distorted perspective of our own flaws. It’s so easy for us to see the stupidity of others, while remaining blind to our own. I might be a prideful, arrogant Christian jerk, but at least I’m not using drugs! 

In today’s passage, Jesus taught that we’re not to judge or condemn others. He said that as we judge, we will be judged. We still struggle and we still fail. We’re in no position to look down on those around us, just because they sin differently than we do.

This doesn’t mean we cannot address destructive behavior. There is a vast difference though, between judging someone and attempting to help him. As Christians, we often think it is our duty to glare hatefully at others. It’s my job to make sure you know I disapprove of your behavior. Honestly though, that’s just lazy, repulsive arrogance. It’s far more difficult – which is why we don’t want to do it – to reach out in love, telling others what Christ has done for us.

Not being judgmental doesn’t mean ignoring failure. It just means that we must remain humble, continually remembering that we still struggle too. It’s difficult, but it is possible to humbly and lovingly address destructive behavior without being judgmental. It’s not our job to be jerks for God.

 

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