Sin is hard to talk about. It’s hard to bring up. There were times in history when a Christian would be expected to be opposed to doing certain things, based on her belief in the Bible. But, those days seem to have passed. Now it seems that Christians aren’t allowed to be opposed to anything because in saying that there’s anything out there that we SHOULDN’T do, we are, by default, somehow “judging” someone who is doing those things.
I have experienced this myself in blogging. If I write a post calling myself and my fellow Christians to refrain from engaging in behavior or thinking or attitudes that the Bible clearly says are sinful, the first objection to the post will be a comment telling me that I can’t judge. That I must think I’m perfect. That I have a holier-than-thou attitude. That Jesus wouldn’t judge. That only God can judge. That I am turning people away from Christianity. That this is what’s wrong with Christians. That I should stop forcing my opinions on others.
But, here’s the truth about the ever popular cry, “Don’t judge me.” What you are really saying is, “Don’t look at my sin.” It is an attempt to deflect attention from the truth of the sin problem.
When we are confronted with our sin, it hurts. We’re embarrassed and convicted. But, most of all, we justify our sin in our minds. We explain to ourselves all of the reasons that what we’re doing isn’t so bad. And, one of our favorite justifications is, “Well, they shouldn’t be judging me, anyway. Who do they think they are?” And, we think back on every imperfect thing we’ve ever seen them do (or if they’re a stranger, we imagine all of the imperfect things), and we make the whole thing about how this person has committed the ultimate offense of daring to talk about what anyone may be doing.
All the while, we are managing to draw attention away from the sin that we should be confronting in our own lives.
I don’t write or speak in order to judge anyone. I do it because talking about the Bible is what Christians do. Looking for better and more fruitful ways to live the Christian life is what we do. Thinking through sin struggles and trust issues and a general lack of holiness is what we must do in order to grow in Christ.
Basically, though, it is really irrelevant whether one of my blog posts makes you feel judged or not. The real question is: is sin sin? And, does it need to be cut out of our lives?
If you believe the Bible and want to live according to God’s standards, then you must agree that sin is bad and God hates it. So, don’t follow the trend of using “Judge not lest you be judged” as your answer to every call to live in purity and holiness. In doing that you are completely missing the forest for the trees. You may be harshly judged from all sides for your choices. Me, too. But, we can’t refuse to hear the truth that someone may be speaking to us just because we feel judged.
After all, we all make judgments, every single day.
However, you are right in thinking that only God can really judge you. His word does. And, it also offers grace and mercy and love and the only remedy for our sin: Jesus Christ. When He lives in us, we have the power to change, to cut out those sins that keep us from knowing our Savior more. But, not if we are so offended by the truth that we refuse to listen to it.
Sin hurts us. It hurts others. It hurts our relationship with God. And, a big part of our job as Christians is to hold each other accountable to the truth of the Bible. Call it judging if you want. But, don’t miss the point. Look beyond your defenses and examine yourself. And, don’t let the “judging” messenger kill the truth of the message in your heart.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12