I stared at this woman’s Instagram post in disbelief. She was celebrating the 1st birthday of her child with a faith-oriented caption, describing how blessed she was to have her son, and praying for him. What was my problem with the post? I did not understand how she could mention God’s name so freely in her caption, when it was public knowledge that the father of her child was a married man. My sister was sat across from me in our room so I told her about the post. To my amazement, my sister was not judgmental of this woman like I was. She told me not to judge her, that her sin was just different from mine. This happened nearly three years ago, but I still remember it vividly because my sister’s unexpected words silenced me, and then it made me think. In the words of Pope Francis when asked his thoughts on homosexuality: “Who am I to judge?”
I’ll tell you exactly what triggered today’s post. I came across a tweet by GidiTraffic (Nigerian social media service): “My Family Took Me To A Church To Burn Out The Spirit Of Homosexuality-Facebook User Writes”, accompanied by gory images of the ceremony. Someone retweeted the post with the caption “This isn’t God”, and I honestly cannot think of a better response. Do you remember the biblical story of the adulterous woman? People were ready to stone her to death, but Jesus stepped in, and defended her: “let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” That is mercy, that is compassion, that is God. We judge people’s actions because “the Bible says that what they are doing is wrong.” I find this particular reason for judging people ironic because the same Bible condemns the passing of judgement on others. From Matthew 7:5 which refers to a judgemental person as a hypocrite, to Luke 6:37 which says “Do not judge, and you will not be judged,” the Bible urges us to leave judgement to God.
At the end of the day, we are all sinners. Some people put some sins on a pedestal, but think about it; are there really categories of sin? In the same way that adultery is a sin, anger is too. In the same way that murder is a sin, greed is too. I know people also struggle to refrain from judging others because they don’t want to leave someone to wallow in sin. In response to that, I believe people can always be reprimanded without judgement. We can condemn people’s actions, but we don’t have to condemn them. If we correct people in a way that shows that we are doing so out of love, and with love, they are less likely to feel judged. Finally, judging people is one of the easiest things to do, so if you have ever judged someone, know that most of us have. Having said that, being judgemental is something I want to fight, and I’m writing this incase anyone else wants to practice living above judgement. Next time you find yourself in a position to judge someone else, remember these three things: you don’t know that person and/or their story; we all have faults and failings of our own; what would God say or do?
Prayer Requests: Today we’re praying for the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, and the victims of the New Zealand mosque attacks. May their souls find rest, and may God comfort their families.
Relevant Bible verses: Matthew 7:1-5, John 8:1-8, Romans 2:1-3, Romans 3: 23
Listen to these songs: Heart of God -Hillsong Young & Free
Whole Heart (Hold Me Now)-Hillsong UNITED(one of my favourite songs right now!)