Today’s Word by Pastor Jim Lindus…
Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” Matthew 7:1…
There are a variety of Spiritual Gifts listed in the Bible: Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Healing, Giving, Mercy, Wisdom, Knowledge, and Tongues. The Bible is clear that all gifts of the Spirit, gifts from God, are meant to be used for the “common good” of all people.
For 2,000 years the people of God, blessed with Spiritual Gifts, have built hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, universities, food banks, preschools, and shelters. The Christian Church has made a mark on the world that God loves.
For 2,000 years the people of God have excelled at charitable giving. Spiritual Gifts are given by God for the common good. We have much to celebrate and there is so much left to do.
Unfortunately, religious people in Jesus’ day and today are even more proficient at judging others. Most of the criteria that we use when judging others was never addressed by Jesus. Most of the things that we fuss over would have bored Jesus. Remember we follow a long haired, unemployed, perhaps homeless Rabbi whose skin would not have resembled the skin tones of Northern Europeans.
Jesus did not address clothing, hairstyles, appearances, or orientation, but he did repeatedly warn his followers about judging others. Judgmental Religious people made Jesus’ blood boil. Here is the problem, the offense to God: if we are grumpy and judgmental and carry the name of Jesus then we disgrace his name and grieve the Holy Spirit.
If you want to spend your energy judging the lifestyles and actions of others, go ahead, knock yourself out. But if you do it in the name of Jesus, then you are really going to tick Jesus off.
But didn’t Jesus tell the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more? Yes, he did. But here is the spoiler alert – you are not Jesus! Do not ask yourself WWJD, (what would Jesus do).
Rather, ask what Jesus has asked you to do. And the answer to that is quite simple: love them and take care of your own issues. That ought to be enough to keep you busy.
Judging others is not a Spiritual Gift. It is a burden; it is a waste of time and it offends the one who forgave you of all your misdeeds.
See you in church!