Lesson from Sunday April 17, 2016.
This lesson was inspired by some negative statements that I heard recently. The words were in a joking manner, but towards a person because of a difference in a beliefs. There is more details that were shared, but I will keep the rest of those details quiet and just move on with the lesson we had…
We have all heard, probably more times than we can count “Do not judge other people”. If you have been involved with church, you have probably heard countless sermons on this very topic. It is one of the most, or maybe the most, quoted concept from the Bible. Many lessons from our parents and teachers stem from this concept. You know; treat others the way you want to be treated, don’t be prejudice, or treat everybody the same. This concept has been pounded in to our heads since we were little. Even Jesus said these, Matthew 7 and Luke 6. This concept is a very old, and very good teaching.
I will be brutally honest here- I think it is impossible for humans (at least for me) to not judge people.
When I see someone I don’t know, I immediately judge them on their appearance, clothes, demeanor, attitude, size- things like that. It does not come from a place of looking down on them at all. Most often I am comparing them to me. (Disclaimer- I went through a weird phase right after high school where I would size up every guy I saw. If I thought I could take them in a fight. If I decided I couldn’t, I would develop a plan in case a fight did break out. I would have my escape planned, my distraction planned, or what weapon to use. I hope I am not the only one on this.) anyway… This happens so quickly that it is hard to control my mind. Now once that judgment has been made, the next thoughts/actions are key. If you see someone that you judged as poor/lower class/2nd class citizen (whatever you want to call them, but you get the picture) and then treat them like they are lesser than you- This is where the problem comes in. I believe that our actions are what makes those judgments bad. Judging people can actually end up being very beneficial and could save your life. An extreme case would be if you saw someone in an alley, holding a gun and shouting- you should probably judge this person as- “not safe” and stay away from the situation. I think you get the picture here.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-6 that we “should not judge” and to remove the “Plank from our own eye before pointing out the spec in our brothers”. (To me this is a hilarious illustration) anyway… Often times in the New Testament the disciples question what Jesus had told them. He had to explain things many times to them. This reminds me of when I was in school and I asked a teacher a question on a new concept. They tried their best to explain it, but since they fully understood it, it is simple to them therefore could not explain to someone that had no concept of this. (I remember 8th grade science class and not grasping the concept of Thresholds because the teacher related it to a door and I was completely lost.”) anyway… Often they can not explain it to people in a way they truly understand. I think that with this “Do not judge” that is one of those cases. Although it seems simple in theory, but in application, it is quite the opposite. I find this concept better explained by Paul in Galatians 3: 26-28. He explains that “27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ”
This to me is a better example and explanation. Paul is saying that once we are in Christ, then we are all one. If we truly believe that we are all one, then every action will be from love. We all want what is best for ourselves. We would never want to put someone else in a worst place (since we are the same) emotionally or physically. So we would not say things that even though may be a joke, that could make someone else upset. We would want to build ourselves up.
When thinking about this, I cannot stop singing “One Love” by Bob Marley .