A Reminder About Judgment

I have been writing a blog on spiritual bread behind the scenes but while doing this I have been noticing a recurring pattern among many Christians.  I felt the need to put that project on hold for the moment and address the topic of judgement.   For how can we multiply the spiritual bread and be serving it to others when we can’t see the wrongs we ourselves may be carrying out without even realizing we’re doing it?

 

I have wrote on this some time ago but since it’s been a while I felt the need to address it again. 

 

One thing that I continue to observe within the body of Christ is blatant judgment of other Christians or a sense of being disingenuous toward those who are truly seeking encouragement for healing.  Brethren, in this very late hour, we need to be extremely cautious as to how we conduct ourselves especially in leading those who are new to the faith or are needing help discovering what they should be doing who may never had been taught correctly.  I have written many times of the importance to be lifting up one another, being of one mind in agreement in what’s righteous. 

 

There is enough segregation going on within the church with congregations separating the flock based on virtues right now (masks and vaccines for example) so much so, that it’s turning away those who are seeking true fellowship.  As a result even true Christians are leaving by ‘shaking the dust from their feet’ as they feel alienated and are walking away because they can’t come to agreement in the differences.  I know someone this has been happening to and it’s very disconcerting.  The church wants to pray but can’t come to terms with what the actual dividing issues are because they are more for compliance and virtue than they are about fellowship. 

 

How can you present an earnest prayer of unity in the spirit to the Lord in prayer when you are sweeping the dirty details under the rug and refusing to address them?  How can you be in agreement when you dismiss one person in the prayer group who brings what’s important before everyone else?  What makes that person’s concerns any less important than those of the others in the prayer group?

 

Let me just say, though there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach; In this season, if you attend a church that wants unification over evil agendas going on in the world, you need to take a step back and take a real good hard look at the big picture and reevaluate whether or not you really belong there.  Take such concerns before the Lord in prayer and seek Him to find out what He would have you do.  Each person will need to seek from the Lord what they need to do in such situations.  Many (and I say many because chances are if it’s happening to one person it’s more than likely happening to another) are finding out some hard realities and this is discouraging at such a time where we should be sticking together but unfortunately, it’s the opposite of what the Word commands us to do.

 

This separating is shameful behavior by the churches and as a result many are turning to online ministries or meeting in prayer groups.  Many are seeking repentance as they have now recognized the lateness of the hour.  They crave the bread, the pure spiritual milk, the truth in the Word.  They desire true fellowship especially if their family and/or friends are making them feel alienated.  Either we are leading them faithfully as we are instructed to do or we are alienating them based on foolish words and we need to be very careful about this.  We do not want to be part of the divided church I recently spoke about in a podcast I did on this very subject.  As times get more difficult there are going to be more and more individuals seeking repentance, seeking new relationships with those walking close to the Lord and we need to be ready to help them when the need arises.  We can’t do this effectively if we are condemning them before we so much as even have a chance to teach them properly.

 

When you see a Brother or Sister struggling with a sin, don’t kick them while they are down.  Please don’t.  It’s just not cool at all.  It’s been done to me and I can speak to that and how alienated it left me feeling.  When I discovered I was in the wilderness, I remember what I felt like.  I felt like none of my ‘friends’ wanted anything to do with me.  I felt very isolated and alone.  I felt that although I had conviction in my heart on what I needed to do to get right with the Lord, I felt a sense of self-defeat because what I didn’t realize was that I first had to work on my relationship with the Lord and cry out for help so He would establish within me.  It is not something that just happens.  Although there may be miracles as such, for most it doesn’t work that way.  For a new Christian, or one who has been backslidden for a number of years, overcoming a sin is often done through much trial and error. Each time you slip you seek more spiritual nourishment and pick yourself up and move forward.

 

For me, it was like learning how to walk again, a spiritual ‘rehabilitation’ or ‘physical therapy’ and during that time I scoured the web looking for support groups and all the while I constantly found message boards where the brethren there seemed like they were friendly, and presented themselves as trustworthy but the moment someone opened up and confessed they were struggling with a particular sin, say like pornography (one of the most difficult to break free of), some of the people would shame the person and say things like ‘Well you just shouldn’t do that!’  Oh, so are you perfect by your own accord, doing well by keeping the law?  Because that’s exactly what that sounds like.  In fact, isn’t there a place about commending ourselves?  Yes, there is -in 2 Corinthians 3 (below).

 

Now if I were that Brother or Sister, reaching out, seeking to be lifted up, I likely would not return because I would feel greatly embarrassed and humiliated.  It takes a lot of courage and humility to speak about something most would not want to admit especially if the sin is sexual in nature.  I would be thinking, ‘Wow what hypocrites, did they never sin?  I don’t want anything to do with them.  I don’t want to return to a place where it seems everyone thinks they are better than me and their own poop don’t stink.’ I would also likely feel even more isolated and probably leave feeling defeated and repeat the very sin I was seeking to escape to try to feel better which would then only leave me feeling more defeated.  Treating someone like that sends them on their way feeling hopeless like they have nobody to relate to.  It’s dismissive.  I can attest to it because I went through it.  It took me a number of months to break free and put the sin to death. 

 

Try as I may have at first on my own, it didn’t work that way.  Thankfully in my case I learned by spending much time in the Word and calling on the Lord to break those chains and set me free.  I shed a lot of tears and aside from the Lord comforting me, I had no one to lift me up at the time.  Thankfully during that time I was able to meet and talk to other guys behind the scenes and relate what I was going through to what they had gone through without being judged.  Although a level of trust had to first be established, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders once I could confess my sins to a fellow brother in Christ.  It gave me assurance that I wasn’t facing an uphill battle on my own.  The truth is there are many struggling out there and we need to remember to be empathetic to others going through the same things we may have once experienced whether we care to admit it or not. 

 

My friends, we should not be judging anyone -that is up to God to do and none of us should as we all struggle in our own ways and the Word says get the speck out of your own eye before casting judgment onto someone else.  If you are doing so, you better be perfect in your own way which, if you think you are perfect, THAT is a sin in and of itself.  Only Jesus was perfect and as Christians, improvement is a continuous process and only with the Lord’s grace and mercy can we be transformed so as to walk righteously with Him.  Even then, this still does not mean we are without flaw.  We do not want to look like hypocrites to the very people we are witnessing to.  It is why we call on the name of the Lord as we realize we have these flaws.  Hypocrisy is one of the biggest reasons why some reject the faith because at the beginning they do not understand and is it any wonder the faith is misunderstood or rejected if we conduct ourselves in an arrogant manner?  Romans 12:3 (below) tells us not to think of ourselves better than we really are.  We need to be honest in the evaluation of ourselves before condemning a fellow Brother or Sister in their struggles.

 

While we may express to a degree our general disagreement with a sin, we need to be careful in doing this.  We should be seeking a way to lift that person up and help them.  Judgment is not ours to make, and whether you realize it or not, you inadvertently just judged that person by treating them that way.  Jesus said let He who has not sinned cast the first stone.  So we really need to check ourselves before acting dismissive and wreckless with someone else especially when they are reaching out.  If we think we are doing no wrong in these instances then it’s all the more evidence we more than likely are and need to repent ourselves, first and foremost.  I like to use the old saying that goes, “If you have nothing good to say, it’s better not to say anything at all.”  If we are to say something we ought to do it in such a way that brings glory to the Lord as the truth in His redemption.  That is what Paul meant when he said, “If I am to boast I would rather boast in my own infirmities as God knows they are true and it brings Him all the glory.”

 

Furthermore, let me just state from my own experience how that feels to someone reaching out; That leaves someone looking for support feeling very isolated.  How do you know what all they are going through?  Many people turn to those sins as a result of that isolation because it is their flesh crying out and that sin is all they have known.  They want to be free.  Shaming them does absolutely nothing to help someone in their struggles and as Brothers and Sisters we should be encouraging each other and presenting the solution in God’s truth to help that person in their struggles so they may overcome them and the chains of death (sins) are broken.  Each of us share more in common than we care to admit and just by the testimony we have in how Christ worked in us personally, we can help encourage those who are seeking repentance.  When we all work together we can present the solutions and in the interest of time as it is becoming in short supply, we would do well to heed this responsibility especially when we know we will give account for our actions and spoken words (and yes that includes written ones).  We are to speak as representatives of Christ, not in prideful representations of ourselves acting like we are somehow better than our brethren reaching out for support as if we have no faults of our own.

 

That person who is reaching out, whether you realize it or not, is seeking encouragement to do right -to not give up so they can run the race.  They are seeking the very testimony from others and we do a great disservice by acting so prideful that we are willing to place ourselves up on a high pedestal so as to not help them.  These instances as they arise, are some of the best times for us to shine for Christ and speak of His testimony in what He has done for each of us.  So if you have been set free from a sin, great!  You should then share in the glory of our Lord and savior, because that’s what Jesus would want us to do.  Speak out with faith by speaking of the greatness the Lord poured out upon you in your weakness as a testimony to help that fellow Brother or Sister as they are likely needing encouragement! 

 

Remember, the Lord’s power works best when we are weak and likewise the testimony of the Lord’s greatness and His redemption work best in these moments.  When Jesus sent out His disciples to heal, He didn’t send them out to judge the unsaved or the backslidden or to be keyboard warriors shouting nasties at them.  You may not share in common, the particular sin that fellow Brother or Sister struggles with but you are deceived if you think you are perfect and do no wrong by reacting in a sense of arrogance where it comes to response.  When I see this type of behavior in the body of Christ, it demonstrates that we need to do better to remember 1 John 1: 6-10 (below) and the scriptures written in Matthew 6 and 7 (also below). 

 

We need to cool it with the self-righteous approach because the danger in behaving this way is that the Lord has a way to show us our own sin if we are not prudent to care for others.  Not one Christian is better than another.  Everyone has their own faults.  It is all part as working as one body in Christ and lifting each other up to do what is good; teaching each other.  Now, some may quote Matthew 7:6 in not throwing pearls to swine -but that verse as it speaks to me is more about those who willingly choose to keep doing wrong.  That is meant for those who simply dismiss the testimony of Jesus and it is pertinent to mention this verse specifically as it relates to when Jesus performed many miracles of healing and the Pharisees still demanded a miraculous sign and He refused to give them one because at that point they were looking for any reason they could to condemn Him. 

 

If someone has already had the conviction that they are in sin and is attempting to do right, then that right there should be a stark contrast and therefore what gives us the authority to shame them?  Are they not already showing the rest of us they seek to do right?  These are points we all need to consider because in one way or another, we were all there at one time or another and we need to be careful not to judge others, lest we be judged ourselves.  Our Father in Heaven is watching so let’s go forth and bear good fruit.  Let us build each other up, not tear each other down.

 

Jesus Bless You All.

 

Verses as they pertain to the above;

 

1 Corinthians 10: 10-13 (NLT)

10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”

13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! 

 

1 John 1: 6-10

So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

 

2 Corinthians 3: 1-2 (NLT)

Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.

 

2 Corinthians 11: 29-31 (NLT)

29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?

30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am. 31 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying. 

 

 

2 Corinthians 12: 8-10 (NLT)

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Amos 3: 3 (NLT)

Can two people walk together
    without agreeing on the direction?

 

Colossians 2: 20-23 (NLT)

20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

 

Colossians 3:17 (NLT)

17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

 

John 8: 4-7 (NLT)

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

 

Luke 5: 30-32

30 But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?”

31 Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. 32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”

 

Luke 15: 1-7 (NLT)

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

 

Mark 6: 5-7, 11-12 (NLT)

And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. 

And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. 

 

11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”

12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. 13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.

 

Mark 7: 6-8 (NLT)

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship is a farce,
    for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

 

Mark 8: 11-13 (NLT)

11 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

12 When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” 13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.

 

Matthew 6: 23 (NLT)

23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

 

Matthew 7: 1-6 (NLT)

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

 

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

 

Matthew 12: 25-26 (NLT)

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 

 

Philippians 2: 1-8 (NLT)

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

Romans 2: 1-4 (NLT)

You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

 

Romans 12: 3 (NLT)

3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

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