Passing Judgment

John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Pride will manifest itself in our lives in many ways.

We deflect the attention of our own sin by casting light on the sin of others. Often, the accusations we fire at the accused are the same sins of which we are guilty ourselves. We have a warped sense of justifying ourselves by comparing ourselves with the faults of others. 

We become Pharisees when we begin to accuse others and tear them down because of their faults. Jesus illustrated it in this parable.

Luke 18:9-10 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”

The Pharisee begins his prayer declaring his righteousness before God by comparing himself to the publican he knows nothing about. 

He thinks that he is justified by what he has done for God.

The publican throws himself at the mercy of God.

Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Pride blinds us from seeing where we came from. 

There is not one of us deserving of the salvation we received.

All are sinners.

All need redemption.

Our enemy seeks to sow seeds of division by seeing the faults and flaws of others instead of our commonality. But it also blinds us from seeing the right place for authority in our lives. 

You see, when we begin to judge others for their faults and failures, we push God off of the throne and pass judgment we have not right, authority, or wisdom to mete out.

In the case of the woman caught in the very act of adultery, Jesus said:

John 8:10-11 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

We see her as a pawn to catch Jesus in how He would pass judgment on her.

Jesus’ lack of judgment and condemnation does not lessen or dismiss the sin. But it glaringly highlights the mercy He shows.

When you read your Bible often enough, you begin to see the heart of God come through. Throughout the Word of God, our Heavenly Father sets the stage for man’s redemption from the beginning. 

Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of the garden. It was not out of hatred or disgust. On the contrary, it broke God’s heart to have to do such a thing. Yet, His provision and prophecy of One who will bruise the serpent’s head gave the couple hope.

When others offend us, what is the remedy we choose?

Is it retaliation or retribution?

Is it justice?

Do we desire to show mercy, or is grace the path we will choose?

In the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we see a new and different way. 

Hebrews 10:19-22 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

When we are fully aware of all that we’ve been forgiven, we can earnestly see others in need of the same. Condemnation, judgment, and legalistic behavior have no place where mercy and grace abound.

It is genuinely a choice we must make every day to be merciful and not judgmental. To give grace instead of criticism. To be able to seek how to build someone up instead of tearing them down should be the chosen path of every child of God.

The world is watching how we treat one another.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 Galatians 5:13-14 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Are we made better by how we condemn or how we love?

Do we show Christ by beating folks over their heads with the Bible or lovingly walking them to the foot of the cross?

It is God who brings the increase both in our lives and in the lives of others.

We must be willing agents of love, mercy, and forgiveness for the world to see the God we love as worthy of their trust. Their own conscience convicts and condemns them of sin.

We need to be the beacon of hope to guide them to the cross.

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