I think most of us have seen those blurbs “Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged” all over the place. Christians love to toss that out when someone speaks against what they are doing. Typically I feel they are misusing the verse to shift confrontation away from their “sinful” activities. If the Bible says something is wrong and you claim to uphold the Bible and what it says, yet your actions are in direct contradiction to what it says, then I am not being judgmental when I say what you are doing is wrong.
With that being said, the other day I apologized to my friend for being judgmental towards him.
He and I had a slight falling out last year that should not have gone down the way it did.
I knew he was going through some issues with his marriage and some of his activities were contrary to what the Bible says. I pointed this out to him and he agreed it was wrong but he was going to do it regardless. It put a stain on us, because I kept trying to figure out how to process Paul’s teaching to put out those who are in knowingly sinning.
Typically I think of this as withdrawing from people when they are participating in an act that I disagree with but with my friend, I almost felt like I needed to stop hanging around him as if that was in some way condoning his actions. It is really easy to over think religious instruction at times. Even at this time though, I was not being judgmental towards him.
I did not cross that line until I began taking his continued “sinful” action as a personal offense against myself. I think this was partly a pride thing, but in my mind, his continuation despite my warnings and addressing his actions as wrong appeared to be a rejection of what I said. I took offense to that and I was wrong.
I hold that a sin is disobedience towards God. If you hold to what he says as truth and then break it, you are sinning. As often as people fail each other, their actions toward each other are not sinful. I would not sin against my neighbor by taking something that belonged to him as I can only sin against God. I would have wronged my neighbor, but not sinned against him.
When my friend rejected what I was saying, he might have hurt my feelings, but he did not sin against me. He rejected what God had said and sinned against God, but when I took it as a personal offense and responded, I became judgmental as I was holding him as accountable to me and not solely God.
Humbling experiences are good.