As a Christian, it can be so difficult to look at others and not pass judgment on them. We think that because we attend church, give our tithe, read our bibles and serve in our church we are better than the rest of the world. Don't tell me it's not true.
There is evidence in my life of being a judgmental Christian. Today, as a matter of fact, my sister and I were waiting in line to pay when a young teenage girl walks by us with a huge belly. She didn't even look old enough to drive a car and she was pregnant. My first thought, was "Oh my gosh, how can such a young girl be pregnant already?"
What was I doing? I was branding her with the Scarlet Letter "F" of fornication. I didn't even know her circumstances but I already assumed that she was going to have a child out of wedlock (*Side note: I am aware that having children before marriage has become the norm now-a-days rather than the exception but just because our society accepts it does not mean it is right before the eyes of God). I also assumed that she was going to have to deal with the consequences of her decisions by raising that child all on her own while struggling to get an education. But you know what? I stopped myself immediately because I realized that had she really messed up like I thought she had, she was choosing to deal with the consequences. And rather than cover one mistake with another (abortion) she was carrying this baby in her womb and giving her child a chance.
The truth of the matter is that "we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Whether it is apparent or not, we are all limping in one area of our life. Some of us struggle with materialism, others struggle with greed, envy or lust. But the point is that we all struggle with something. And that's what the church is for. The church is a hospital. Jesus says in Matthew 9:12-13, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." God is not looking for us to simply drop our tithe inside the offering plate, play in the worship team or teach a Sunday school class. He wants us to have mercy on others. We need to be able to lovingly look at others through Christ's eyes.
Boy is it humbling to know that I've messed up and I've messed up pretty bad but I am forgiven. And if God almighty has forgiven me, who am I to judge others and think that I can make them pay for their sin? Do I condone sinful behavior? No. Is it my job to convict others of their sin? Absolutely not. That is the Holy Spirit's job and I am confident that he can do a much better job of convincing others than I will ever be able to.
I thank God that although he has not made me perfect he has made me a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). When I am tempted to believe the enemy's lies that I am that same, broken girl that walked into church one day I fire back with the Word.
Thank you, Lord for this weapon you have given me(Your word) and thank you that no matter how bad I've messed up, you are always there to take me back in your loving arms. Thank you Jesus for the forgiveness that I have found in you. Where would I be without you? Forgive me when I am less than what you created me to be, when I judge others to make myself feel better. Show me how to be more like you.
In Jesus' Name,