Monday, 8 April 2013

Judge Not

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. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? ...Matt.7

I don’t mind becoming old though I am beginning to not like me as much as I did a number of years ago.  Either I am just becoming a curmudgeon or I am just becoming increasingly aware of my sinfulness.  It is with this painful awareness in mind that I was particularly grabbed by several statements made by Andy Stanley in his newly released book Deep and Wide.  This is kind of a how to book for pastors.  Stanley writes:

Few things discredit the church more in the minds of unbelievers than when it holds them accountable to a standard they never acknowledged to begin with. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time.

After reading this I had three simultaneous thoughts, along with a headache.  The first thought was that I am most likely guilty of holding non-Christians to a standard they never bought into.  When I am being my cranky, critical, judgmental self, I don’t know if the person who is not living according to my rules of life is a Christian or not.  I should assume they are not.

Which made me think of those of you who profess to be a Christian who are married to someone who is not.  My guess is that much of the friction in your marriage, assuming there is friction, comes from the fact that your spouse is not living up to the Biblical role to which they have been assigned, i.e. husbands are to love their wives as much as they love themselves and wives are to admire, respect and honor their husbands.  If this is the case your non-Christian spouse isn’t seeing in you the endearing qualities that you profess to represent.  OUCH!
The third and most obvious thought is that those of us who purport to be Christian ought to begin acting like the Person we are to represent here on earth.  There is an old, trite expression that I dislike but I’ll use it anyhow, “If you were on trial for being a Christian is there enough evidence to convict you?”

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