Friday, May 28, 2010

There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus

Just an additional note on my "shadows" post... I was thinking about how darkness is shown more drastically when there is more light, and it reminded me of the many instances in the Gospels where people felt guilt/shame/sin when in the presence of Christ. It seemed as though their sins weighed greater on them when they were in the presence of the sinless one. (This point is summed up great in John 3:20- Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not ocme into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.) So, this leads me (in a roundabout kinda way) to my latest "irk" with people... judging others.

"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. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:37-38

Scary... thinking that whatever measure I use, will be the one that is used on me. I screw up a lot. Therefore, I need grace. And a LOT of it. So, I need to extend grace to others- in excess. No one is perfect, we all mess up. Those who are closer to Christ see sin more clearly, that is why it is essential that we be in the Word, and that we pray and talk with Christ. So that we can, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather, expose them." (Ephesians 5:11)

Now, today's culture is very much- "live and let live". This puts Christians in a strange position, because while the world doesn't believe in right and wrong (in all instances) we know, through Scripture, that there is a right and a wrong. But, no matter how you look at it, we are not to judge others. Judging is for God, and God alone.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch... I do not think that judging and discerning are the same thing. I feel that God is taking stress and pressure off of us (since we couldn't do it right anyway) by being the Judger of souls. But, even though He has taken that responsibility from us, He has given us the responsibility to discern between right and wrong. The Holy Spirit, intuition, and the Word help us correctly discern. I feel that it is our job as Christians to discern for ourselves, our families, our friends, and sometimes the stranger you meet at Walmart.... if the conversation leads to it. But, discerning is different than judging. We cannot reach people if we judge them- it puts them on the defensive.... it leads to a breakdown in relationships. We are supposed to be doing the opposite- growing and fostering a relationship. We are supposed to show the amazingness (is that a word? It is now) of Christ and how wonderful and perfect it is to have a relationship with Him... but we can't show the world that if we are judging, condemning, damning them to hell. Sin is sin is sin... God sees no difference is one sin than another. Therefore... we are in the same boat as the rest of the sinners on the planet--- we sin. But, we know how to be saved from that sin- that is what we should be portraying, and no one will listen if we judge them.

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