Monday, October 1, 2012

Jesus Came To Save, Not To Judge

What if I told you that God will treat you the exact same way you treat other people?

To me, that's a really scary thought. It's scary because I don't treat other people well. I judge them. I hold grudges. I don't forgive easily. I consider myself better. I think myself smarter. I trust myself before I trust anyone else. I want others to do things my way. And if you cross me once, you have little hope of ever being my friend again.

No, I certainly don't treat others as well as I want God to treat me.

When the Messiah was here on earth, He preached a very simple message: God will treat you the same way that you treat others.

In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus preached on why we shouldn't judge others and what will happen if we do judge others. In verses 1-2, He said, "Do not judge, 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."

He also said in Matthew 6:14-15, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

And once again, in Luke 6, He said, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 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... For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

I am so guilty of judging others!! It's always been a challenge for me. I am so guilty of judging others for their little faults. I am so guilty of thinking myself better than others. I look down on other people because I can see all of their sins and mistakes and imperfections. But I can be so blind to my own sin! Somehow, I often don't even realize it when I mess up. I am blind to my own faults, and yet so ready to judge others for their own imperfections.

That's why I am so humbled and thankful for Jesus' words in John 12. I stumbled upon John 12:47 when I was studying for this post, and it has completely changed the way I look at judging others. Jesus says, "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it."

You see, Jesus has the right to judge us. He says that God has given Him the right to judge humanity (John 5:22). But does Jesus use this right? Not often. He generally only verbally judged and called out the Pharisees.

So we hear Jesus say that He doesn't judge the man who rejects Him because that man will be judged in the end. And he capitalizes on this statement by saying He came to save the world, not to judge it. Shouldn't we think and act the same way?

In essence, Jesus is trying to communicate that judging others is a waste of time. People will be judged for their mistakes and sins in the end, so why bother spending time judging them now? Jesus came to save the world. Shouldn't that be our mission, too?

What if we spent as much time loving each other and building each other up as we did judging and looking down on each other? What if we refused to pass judgment on others and instead worked at becoming friends with them? Christ refused to judge us. He instead chose to love us. So what right do we have to judge?
"There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?" ~James 4:12

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