“They were trying to trap Him into saying something they could use against Him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with His finger. They kept demanding an answer, so He stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then He stooped down again and wrote in the dust.” — John 8:6-8 (NLT)
The one problem that I had with the word judgement was an underlying belief that the next word that followed was punishment. I guess that stemmed from my being on the wrong side of rules and regulations for so long that I always thought the one followed the other. But when I became a new creation in Christ Jesus, my view on judgement began to change radically. It happened at such a rapid rate that I literally offended those around me who basically came right out and said to me, “Who are you to judge?” After a while, when those offenses were beginning to add up, I did what every “good” Christian did and tried to “say not, judge not” then with a heavy sigh I would utter “C’est la vie.”
Not to say that, in my heart of hearts, I wasn’t seething about things. On the contrary, silence for me is an oxymoron so taking this position was as uncomfortable as it could get. However, over the past year and half I have had to re-examine that position of pseudo-silence and come to the realization that judging, or maybe a better word would be assessing, does come with the territory of being a Christian. But if you don’t do this with grace that Jesus Christ provided you’ll do damage that sometimes will linger on longer than you anticipated. Hear this out…
The story of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery can be an example of this. Sometimes we’ve heard this preached as Jesus getting yet another one over the Scribes and those wacky Pharisees, but what He had done is judge both parties and He did it with grace. The first group of folks, the Scribes and Pharisees, well let’s just say that they’re so rigid in their judgment passing that they only bring one of the two parties needed to complete the accusation. Yes, this is done to test Jesus (now we all should know that this ain’t a good idea) but Jesus quickly “assesses” the situation and after drawing in the sand He draws this conclusion…let him without sin throw the first stone.
Now, by assessing the reaction we read about, the only thing left to judge is the sound of stones making their impact on the ground, but we ain’t done yet. Jesus now turns to the woman, “Dear woman, where is everyone? Are we alone? Did no one step forward to condemn you?”
Her reply is simple, “Lord, no one has condemned me.”
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” He does not say “Well, I’m kinda uncomfortable with what you did, but if its not bothering you, have at it. Hope it works out for you.” (That would be something that the “New Tolerance Revelation” would have us say.) Jesus may not condemn her but He doesn’t let it stay at that. “Go and sin no more” was His judgement call. There is no question that He called it what it was, sin. But Jesus will confront her with grace as well as truth and tell her to make some serious changes in her life.
How about us? Are we gonna just stop judging others, because we personally think it’s a proper course of action, or are we gonna take a look at what Jesus and the Scriptures actually say about this thing called judging? Its no surprise that some of us, who already find judging others as easy as breathing, go on to do it and then do it in ways that do more harm than good. You may know who they are. Aren’t they the ones who we tell to “take the 2×4 outta your eye first?” Now, to give them the benefit of the doubt, they may be right in their assessment, but their presentation is a little lackluster.
The Apostle Paul at one time had to say to the church in Corinth, “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning” (1 Cor 5:12). In order for us to do just that it’s gonna take proper discernment and much prayer. When I’m with you next time I will hopefully have something that will speak to this and give us an insight on how we should judge others as we would want to be judged…if we say we are a child of the Most-High God, this shouldn’t be an issue. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two grown children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “If we were forbidden to make moral and spiritual judgments, we would have no objective way to distinguish between truth and error.” — Larry Osborne
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I have hoped in Your ordinances. Psalm 119:43