Okay…it mystifies me that we as Christians don’t seem to recognize that of all the “do nots,” the one Jesus was strongest on was “do not judge.” And obviously he didn’t mean “do not judge people for the good things they do.” He meant do not judge others for the sins they commit.
Why? Why give us rules and then say “do not judge” those breaking them?
#1 because no one is without sin or in secular terms: nobody is perfect.
#2 because the message of Jesus is that we are loved by God in our imperfect, broken, unfinished, “sinful’ humanity, and once we recognize that we are loved in spite of our selfishness and lack of love, it gives us the grace to begin growing in loving others as Jesus and God love us.
#3 because we do not know the “hand” anyone else was dealt. Only God does, so only God can judge them. And only God will know when they can accept His love enough to truly see themselves without condemnation and be freed to become more like Jesus in what ever way God is calling them to grow. (Not in whatever way we think they should be growing at any particular time.)
1. Nobody’s perfect.
2. When we recognize our brokenness and learn that we are loved as we are, we become free to change and grow more loving.
3.Only God knows if, when, and how He is calling and freeing someone to grow.
I used to believe that good people were perfectly good. Or at the very least, they were headed to it, gathering speed as they aged.
Now, I know a whole lot of nice dead people who never got anywhere near perfect.
Even worse, now that I’m old, I seem to be getting less good each year, or maybe just more obviously not so great.
I’m beginning to think it’s a little like the Velveteen Rabbit story. Our pretty and soft coverings wear thin from the lessons about loving that we get from bumping up against other people.
We begin to look a lot less good or at least a more spotty good, than when we had the energy to fake it,
Freedom has its price and becoming free to be real is expensive.
But when we realize that we can see the door from here, we finally get it:
Only skinny, naked, spotty, worn looking camels, clinging to nothing can make it through that narrow gate.
Ain’t that grand!