For many of us, judging others comes way too easily. I know that I have been (and continue to be) guilty of this. We seem to think that it is our responsibility to punish others for their failures. Well, it’s not!
I believe we make 2 major errors when we punish others for their failures.
1. We condemn people not only for genuine sin but also for their mistakes.
When people who have tried their best fail, they do not need our biting blame. They need our love and encouragement.
We often tend to blame others because their actions (whether they reflect overt disobedience or honest mistakes) make us look like failures, and our own failure is unacceptable to us.
Husband-wife, parent-child, and employer-employee relationships are especially vulnerable to one’s being threatened by the failure of another.
How does this show itself?
A wife gets angry with her husband for his not-so-funny joke at an important dinner party.
A parent erupts at a child for accidentally spilling milk.
A manager scowls at an employee because an error on the employee’s calculations has made the manager look foolish to his supervisor.
People generally experience difficulty in dealing with their sins; let’s not compound their problems by condemning them for their mistakes.
2. Falsely believing that we are godly agents of condemnation.
Unable to tolerate injustice, we feel a great need to balance the scales of right and wrong.
We are correct in recognizing that sin is reprehensible and deserves condemnation, yet we have not been licensed by God to punish others for their sins.
Judgment is God’s responsibility, not ours!
Jesus dealt specifically with this issue when several men decided to stone a woman caught in adultery. He told them that the person without sin should throw the first stone.
Beginning with the eldest, all of the accusers walked away as they remembered their own sins. In light of their own sinfulness, they no longer saw fit to condemn the sins of another.
As this incident clearly illustrates, we should leave righteous condemnation and punishment in the hands of the One worthy of the responsibility.
Our response should be love, affirmation and possibly compassionate correction.
Have you been guilty of judging others?
***** This post was greatly influenced by Robert S. McGee’s book “The Search For Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes“