“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Wes Mason for www.mensdailylife.me
Original post @ http://mensdailylife.me/2015/06/08/to-judge-or-not-to-judge/
By Wes Mason
“Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you. Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye? You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.” ~ Matthew 7:1-5 AMP
Verse one above is one of the most misused and misunderstood verses often quoted today. It seems that when someone in the public eye does something sinful and someone in Christian leadership points out the sin, then so many folks are quick to jump to their defense by throwing up the don’t judge statement of Jesus, often by folks who are not in any relationship with God’s son. This verse was never intended by Jesus to be used as a shield to defend sin. Jesus never backed away from calling sin out and preaching on the need of repentance, and we should not either, yet we must be gracious as to how we do this.
I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them—do you think that they were more guilty offenders (debtors) than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally.” ~ Luke 13:3-5
We are NOT to set ourselves up as judge and jury when someone sins. We are NOT to get self-righteous and look down on some whose sin has been made public. There but for the grace of God go I. Our first response should be to pray for that person and appeal to God that his mercy and grace be extended to the one in need trapped in sin and self-destructive behavior even as we would want such mercy and grace from God if our sins were dragged into the light of day for world to see. This is the way Paul instructs us to approach this:
“Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.” ~ Galatians 6:1 AMP
We must not lose our prophetic voice to the nations. People must know we care to have moral authority when we speak. We must be Gods loving, gentle people, strong enough, in his power alone, to live out and proclaim God’s word as he has revealed it to us in the bible. If God calls something sin, then we must make sure we are not guilty of it ourselves and let the world know it is sin, but that he has a remedy for it, to call on the name of his son the Lord Jesus Christ who will rescue all who do so to the uttermost.
How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
In Jesus name, amen.
Wes Mason is a native of Richmond VA. He served in the USAF after graduating in 1974 and lived in NM, TX, MA and the UK. While in TX, he recognized God’s calling on his life and was ordained in a small Pentecostal Church in 1984. He moved to Boston to finish college, and while there, was involved in campus ministries as a student leader and a prison ministry volunteer. After college Wes moved back to Richmond in 87, very quickly was asked to be part of the Good news Jail and Prison Ministry at Henrico County Jail west. Currently Wes provides pulpit supply for 11 local Baptist churches. He’s married to my wife Cindy, a school teacher since 88, and has 2 great sons. Wes is a member of Hunton Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Va. Wes plays the 5 string banjo and guitar for a hobby. You can connect with Wes via email: firstname.lastname@example.org