Daily Word of Grace # 21 (April 14, 2020)

Several years ago I read an article (I forget where specifically) about which words come to mind when people think about the church.  You would think the words would perhaps include “kind”, “welcoming” or “encouraging” but instead three of the most common responses were “hypocritical”, “legalistic” and most of all, “judgmental.”  This made me take a look in the mirror, and while I hate to admit it, I have been all these things toward others over the years.  Again, the most oft cited negative perspective of the church was (and for many still is) “judgmental.”  Most people fear being judged—judged for their appearance or money (or lack thereof), judged for their race or sexual orientation, judged for their social/economic background or political convictions—you fill in the blank.  The problem with judging others is that we are often wrong.  We misjudge others because we see them through our own distorted perspective and have no idea what their actual backstory, their actual life is like.  Jesus preached, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged” (Matthew 7:1).  In fact, elsewhere Jesus clearly stated, “The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).  On Good Friday, Jesus, to whom God the Father had given the power of all judgment, took the judgment of the world, including you, upon himself.  In other words, Jesus chose to love you, not judge you.  He still does.

Love and Prayers,