As I sit down to write this post, I’ve been processing what the main point is that I hope my readers will walk away with, and I came up with two. First, I want to offer an acknowledgement that that we Christians have at times judged others in a way that Jesus never intended us to. Secondly, I want to make an appeal to our culture to dig a little deeper to find out exactly what the Bible has to say about judging.
First of all, I want to apologize on behalf of the Christian community for every time that we have judged others in a critical, condemning, self-righteous, prideful, or disrespectful way. Jesus himself made it clear that it is possible to judge others in a wrong way, and we as God’s people haven’t always gotten it right. I cringe when I think of some of the ways that I have heard Christians shouting hateful, condemning words to those whose value systems don’t match our own. But it isn’t just “those Christians” who’ve made me cringe. I cringe when I remember times when these same critical attitudes have distorted my own judgments…times when I made judgments which were fueled, not by love, but fear, self-righteousness and a lack of honor for others.
So for those situations, I want to say that I am truly sorry for any pain or injury that we Christians have caused. I want to ask if you can forgive us for not getting it right sometimes. While we may not always agree on every issue, every human being deserves to be treated with gentleness and respect. I am truly sorry for any wounding that you have received from judgments rooted in unloving, critical or condemning attitudes. If you have suffered from cyber bullying by Christians who have not acted out of love, but out of hate-filled words, I sincerely ask if you would be willing to forgive us. If you are a politician who, instead of feeling honored and encouraged by Christians, has been treated in the opposite way, I want to ask if you can forgive us for the lack of respect, prayers and encouragement that we have demonstrated. While these actions cannot be undone, I pray that the Lord Jesus Himself will heal the wounds that we have caused you and that we will make amends wherever it is called for. It is my sincere hope and prayer that we as Christians will grow in our ability to honor others and have repentant hearts for the pain that we have caused.
If you are one of those who have felt condemning judgment from Christians, I can only imagine that it must be tempting to come to the conclusion that judging others is a bad thing that needs to be eradicated from our society. I want to ask if you’d be willing to take another look; to resist the temptation to “throw the baby out with the bath water” by taking a closer look at what the Bible has to say about judging. Continue reading