I have to admit that I’m a recovering “judger”… I’m sad to admit that for many years I became very good at spotting and pointing out other people’s sins and shortcomings. Until one day I heard a quote that started me on my road to recovery:
“Any idiot can find the faults in another person, it takes a genius to see the greatness in them.”
Needless to say, it IS difficult to see the greatness in some people. It takes effort; perhaps that’s why few people look for it!?
It truly seems easier to find the flaws in others.
Even if it is “natural” to judge others, rarely, if ever, does any good come from it.
In the final analysis, we are ALL imperfect. We all have flaws…imperfections!
So when we do judge others to condemn them or belittle them, we are only:
“Imperfect people judging other imperfect people for being imperfect differently.”
Shane Willard shared an interesting story that really drove home this point in a powerful way.
Many of us have heard of the “Seven Deadly Sins”… you may have heard the term, but not know what is on the list. So here is the list:
* hubristic pride,
* malicious envy,
* gluttony and
Surprisingly, this list is not found in the Bible (although the words can certainly be found in Scripture)*
Any way… Just keep this in mind for when I attempt to make a point later…OK?
Shane recounts a man frantically approaching him at a conference where he was the keynote speaker. The man was grossly overweight- obese.
The overweight man approached him agitatedly asking loudly, “Shane, what are we going to do about those homosexuals?!”
Shane ran to the window and yelled, “Where?!?”
The overweight man asked, “What are you talking about?”
Shane told him, “The way you were talking, I thought the building was being attacked by spear-wielding homosexuals!”
“No…no! Don’t be silly!” Replied the overweight man. “But seriously, what are we going to do about the homosexuals?”
Shane asked him, “What should we do about the gluttons?”
Shocked, the overweight man said, “What did you just say?”
Shane replied, “I didn’t stutter… what should we do about the gluttons in the church.
The overweight man sheepishly walked away….
While we must exercise godly judgment to identify problems in people’s lives, it should only be done with the intent to help rectify the situation; or heal, redeem, and restore them. Any other form of judgement is destructive.
Perhaps that is why Jesus warned us about judging?
“Judge not…” Matthew 7:1
And again in Romans 14:4…
“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”
There’s wisdom in the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” album, we’re ALL somebody’s servant:
“Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord…But you’re gonna have to serve somebody…”
Should we leave the judging to the Owner(s)…and do the work of a genius and look for greatness in others… what do you say?!
The list of Seven Deadly Sins may have been complied by men called The Desert Fathers as early as the third century (271 AD). However, history clearly shows the list was compiled.
The Bible does list seven things God hates and detests. Here are those verses:
“There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
* haughty eyes,
* a lying tongue,
* hands that shed innocent blood,
* a heart that devises wicked schemes,
* feet that are quick to rush into evil,
* a false witness who pours out lies and
* a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Proverbs 6:16-19
I have to tell you that I do not believe God has “weights” or “points” on sin or wrong doing; they all separate us from Him equally. (for the purposes of brevity and staying on point, I’ll leave that here. But if you’d like, I’d be willing to write more on that subject)
The point being… IF God DID have a weighted list, I think we’d all agree that those listed above would head the list.