Yesterday I wrote an email about some versus of Scripture in Genesis 35 of The Old Testament.
Here’s a link to the email, in case you missed it.
Here’s a picture of the versus I referenced.
Anyway, one of the potential meanings of ‘strange God‘, I highlighted in my email, was how strange it’s seemed to me, for a long time, that Jesus seemed to say ‘not to judge‘ and yet, so many followers of his teachings, seem to do exactly that, almost better than anyone else.
I received a reply from a friend & subscriber, expressing some concern that I might be leading people astray, and that Jesus didn’t exactly say “Don’t Judge.”
Regarding the misquote, I realize that Jesus didn’t say those exact 2 words. Often in my writing I’ll paraphrase or sum up the essence of a message in a shorter phrase for brevity.
In my understanding of some of what Jesus Taught regarding judgement, I believe the essence of his intent was to not condemn others.
Condemnation is not the same as discernment.
Condemnation is when we pass a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ judgement over the whole of a person.
Or, when we use our negative perception of them to lift ourselves up above them, to make them ‘less than’ and us ‘more than.’
From my reading of the scriptures (and to be clear, I’m an amateur), it seems to me that condemnation is God’s job.
Love is ours.
Again, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discern.
Discernment, for me, is about seeing who is good for our lives and who is not.
It’s also about noticing things in others that we may want to build, or eliminate from our own personal characters.
We can notice these things about people, without condemning them.
We can notice these things, and still love them.
Furthermore, some people are better loved from a distance.
So here are some phrases of Jesus that lead me to strive for non-condemnation, love filled relationships with people.
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Additionally, when a Pharisee (an example of a hypocrite) asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment, He responded with…
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
- Love God
- Love Yourself
- Love others as you love yourself
“On these 2 commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.”
That last sentence carries so much weight and power when it strikes my consciousness.
But Paul, I can show you other scriptures where it seems to contradict what you’re saying, and that we actually should judge others, and point our their sins.
Yes you can, and I can show you and endless array of other scriptures that also seem to contradict each other.
This is the problem with literalism, and taking one book or one person, or one thought system and putting a big stamp of TRUTH across the top.
In my walk, I’ve learned to be very careful about taking everything someone says, or a book says as 100% gospel truth.
Instead, I strive to look for the messages that God has for me, wherever they are.
‘Take what you like, and leave the rest.’ is a phrase a good friend of mine has shared with me.
When it comes to God… for me it’s…
‘Take what it seems God is wanting you, personally, to know and that resonates to the deepest depths of your being, walk with that, and see how it feels and works in your life.’
Additionally, reason is an important companion to faith.
Faith without reason produces ignorant zealots who commit crimes against humanity.
Reason without Faith, seems to do the same.
We need both.
I believe God gave me a brain and a heart because I’m supposed to use both in my daily walk.
I’ve also noticed that ‘success leaves clues’ as they say.
Napoleon Hill wrote an entire chapter in The Laws Of Success, on Tolerance, which in essence is a form of ‘non condemnation’ or ‘non-judgement.’
Tolerance, in short, says “I can disagree with you and love you at the same time.”
It also says… “I’m not the final authority on truth. I could be wrong. I’m open to further light and knowledge. I’m just a simple human trying to find my way just like you. I allow you the space to live your live in the best way you can, and hope you’ll allow me the same.”
Those teachings seem to harmonize very well with the essence of the “Love others, condemn them not” teachings above from Jesus.
Lastly, at the end of the day, it’s important that we test out any ‘truths’ we feel we’ve found in real life.
See how they feel.
See how they work.
Personally, As I’ve gone from a place of ‘more judgement’ to ‘less’ I’ve experienced, what I deem to be, VERY positive results.
People tend to like me and enjoy being around me more because they feel accepted and loved.
I feel happier and more at peace because I don’t have this constant nagging that I need to fix or correct everyone.
I have less stress because I can focus more in improving (loving) myself and being the change and striving to inspire change in others, mostly with my example,
Versus seeing ‘what’s wrong‘ with them and making it my mission and purpose in life to correct it as if I’m God on earth.
So yes, I strive to always be open to being wrong, but for all the thinking, reading, praying and testing I’ve done on this topic…
It’ll be very hard to convince me that I should love less and judge more.
But you’re welcome to try in the comments below. 😉
Thanks for reading and whatever you do, always go for your dreams!
PS – Just saw this in our members group..
Way to GOOOO Allan!