This Sunday we are looking at probably the most important teaching of Jesus for our day and age. I say this because two of the 3 tops things Christians in North America are known for is being judgmental, and hypocritical. The irony, and also the deep sadness is that Jesus is really clear: do not judge. (Matthew 7:1)
Soren Kierkegaard once said something like, the Bible is clear, most Christians just don’t want to follow it. And I think of that often in terms of this teaching of Jesus. It couldn’t be clearer but it also couldn’t be less practiced.
So on Sunday I want to help us begin to practice this by peeling back some of the layers and seeing how when we judge we separate ourselves from others and God. I want to discover how Jesus’ teaching is so freeing, brilliant, and amazing that we should want to live this way.
I know sometimes it’s hard to imagine a world without judging and condemning because it is so normal to us. But we need to imagine a world without it, we need to practice a world without – because that’s God’s kind of world. That’s God’s kingdom, a community and a place where people don’t judge but go graciously to one another. A place where people deal with their own stuff, rather than trying to deal with someone else’s. A place where people who have experienced grace, share grace.
So I think this Sunday matters because I think we need to learn how to live without judgment. I think we desperately need to learn how to live without condemning others. I think we need to learn to live like Jesus – or at least I do. Because judging comes so naturally to me, it’s so easy to have a running dialogue of judging thoughts go through my head. But here Jesus is clear, don’t judge. And my honest belief is that if Jesus taught it, we should do it. And not only that, he will provide a way for us to do it. And that’s what we want to discover, a way to live without judgment.
So that’s where we are going, but before we get there why not do this little thought experiment for the rest of the weekend. Why not just try to notice how often you judge. And as you do think about how your relationships and this world might be changed if we just got rid of that. I think it’s worth trying to do. What about you?