Tag Archives: judging others

The Hope Of Grace


One of the greatest struggles I have as a Christian is being a new creation with the old creation’s mind. The new life wants to live for God, but the old mind controls my thoughts which ends up controlling my actions and words. There’s a war that goes on that fights between needing to love others and wanting to condemn them for their actions. I don’t think I’m alone in this struggle by seeing and hearing what others say about those they disagree with.

I read a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer from “The Cost of Discipleship” that’s helped me understand what’s going on in this struggle. He wrote, “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Our old mind wants to withhold the grace which we have been afforded. When we withhold grace, judgement fills the vacuum and condemnation comes out.

We are called to speak the truth in love. We like to say, “The truth hurts,” but we shouldn’t be trying to hurt them. The love portion of that phrase we live by is what Illuminates their sin and points to the cross where they can obtain grace. Our old man wants to bring judgement and condemnation, but our new man wants them to find grace so they can be free of their sin. We can’t just speak a condemning truth to others without coupling it with love. We can’t leave them in that place without the hope of grace.

Here are some verses from the Bible about this struggle.

1. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, “Let me wash your face for you,” when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
Luke 6:41-42 MSG

2. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him.
2 Peter 3:15 NLT

3. Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Galatians 6:1-3 MSG

4. 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.
Matthew 7:2 AMP

5. For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17 AMP

6. His choice is based on his grace, not on what they have done. For if God’s choice were based on what people do, then his grace would not be real grace.
Romans 11:6 GNT

7. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.
Romans 5:20 NLT

8. For God will not show mercy when he judges the person who has not been merciful; but mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:13 GNT

9. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Philippians 2:5 NLT

10. Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.
Matthew 7:12 MSG

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Get Dirty

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to truly love people. As Christians, we are called to love others. Jesus said that the world would know we are His disciples by our love for others, but is that what we are known for? I’ve been reminded a few times this week through conversations and quotes I’ve read that we need to learn to love more than we are. We spend more time judging others than we do loving them and that’s a problem.

One of the quotes I read this week came from Mother Teresa. It said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” We have to fight against our human nature with this one. It’s easy to sit and judge, but difficult to go and love. Loving others requires us to act and it’s not an easy thing to do at times. It can get messy and dirty. On the other hand, judging is pretty easy to do. It requires little effort on our part, and as humans, we love to take the easy route so we default to judging.

Another quote I was reminded again came from Peter Strople. He said, “When in doubt, love.” Ask yourself how you can show God’s love to other people you come across each day. What if you were the only person God was going to put in their path who could show them love? You never know what a difference you could be in someone’s life simply by showing love where others judge. Mark Batterson said, “Inaction is action. Indecision is a decision.” By not doing anything, you are telling them everything.

I also read an article about Uncle Si Robertson from Duck Dynasty this week. He was asked what his favorite verse was. He said, “John 3:17. Everybody knows verse 16, but nobody looks at verse 17.” In the Message it says, “God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help.” Jesus spent His time building relationships with the people that others were too busy judging. Why wouldn’t we want to follow His model?

I’m writing this today to myself as much as to anyone else that bears the name Christian. We are known more for judging than for our loving. We are known for pointing fingers instead of offering helping hands. We’ve been so caught up in being in the world, not of the world that we’ve built walls between the ourselves and the ones we’re called to love. It’s no wonder that church growth is comprised mainly of switchers instead of new converts. We spend time and money trying to build a better service than the church down the road instead of spending time and money on things to build the relationships with the people who have been judged by the world.

It all comes down to each one of us loving the people God places in our path each day. It’s not our minister’s job to do it, it’s ours. A preacher can’t touch as many lives as we, the body, can collectively. It’s hard to grow the Church when we’ve separated ourselves from the ones who need God’s love. Jesus hung out with leppers, prostitutes and the worst of sinners because that’s who needed His love the most. It’s time we followed His example, got our hands dirty and built relationships with unbelievers to show them His unconditional love. Don’t take the easy route today, Go get your hands dirty and love others.

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