scales-of-judgment

Don’t judge me because you sin differently than I do

Social media popularizes catchy sayings at record speeds. When something appears to work, it takes flight. Yet, phrases must actually contain truth and substance to win debates.

To those who don’t understand sin this saying appears logical. However, it’s spiritually naive upon closer examination.

There was a time when John 3:16 was the most quoted passage. Now Jesus’ admonition not to judge wears that crown. “Judge not that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1, NKJV).

Never mind that people quoting this verse usually have no idea what the Bible actually says about judging. If God condemned all judging, Christianity and our very world would crumble. It’s indispensable to life.

Without it the police, judges, juries, firefighters, military and medical personnel of all kinds would be useless. Furthermore, anyone who extends a hand to the helpless and hurting must pass some level of judgment.

Instead, Jesus meant that we mustn’t judge by a standard by which we don’t want to be judged. We should all aspire to be judged by God’s standards rather than by man’s arbitrary, fleeting and biased opinions.

Jesus came to heal the spiritually sick and he left preaching and teaching as the means of reaching the lost (Luke 5:31-32; Romans 10:14-17). The Word of God leads us to salvation and ultimately to heaven because it tells us all we need to know (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23). Some sins have greater consequences than others but they all separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). God is complete goodness and can’t tolerate any evil (1 John 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Everyone is responsible for their own sins (Ezekiel 18:19-24). Yet, the saying, “Don’t judge me because you sin differently than I do” presumes that a consensus of opinion determines the impact of one’s sins.

Sin is spiritual and God completely owns that realm. We have no say in the matter (Psalm 119:89). He does as he wishes. We’re righteous or unrighteous by his standards alone. Public opinion is useless as a barometer.

One person’s adultery doesn’t excuse another person’s fornication. Each one is guilty before God (Revelation 20:11-15). Through meticulous study we determine God’s will and the boundaries of sin. When we violate his standard, we must repent (Luke 13:3-5).

How we sin may matter to another person but their opinions won’t have any bearing on our eternal home. Instead of rationalizing our sins, we must bow before God in humility and be washed in the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:6-11; Galatians 3:27; Acts 22:16).

Maybe we need fewer memes and more Bible studies.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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