by Rick Warren — September 9, 2020
“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
James 2:12-13 (NIV)
On one hand, we want to honor God and do what he wants. On the other hand, everything in our world is directly opposed to God.
Life in the Kingdom of God is at odds with the ways of the world. You are going to see many things that disagree with your values and—more importantly—with God’s values.
How do you respond?
Unfortunately, too many Christians respond by passing judgment on others.
James tells us that if we judge others without showing mercy, then God will not show mercy to us. God desires mercy over judgment.
You can avoid being judgmental by telling the truth with gentleness. You can tell someone that disobeying God will lead to negative consequences in a way that doesn’t pass judgment on them.
You become judgmental when you take the truth and hold it over people’s heads, in order to make yourself feel superior. We are called to tell the truth to help people, not to harm them or put them down.
You can disagree with someone without being disagreeable. Even if you are right about something, being rude about it puts you in the wrong.
Being judgmental—expecting an unbeliever to act like a believer—doesn’t make sense. The Bible says people can’t act the way God wants them to act until they invite Jesus into their lives and accept his power to change their ways.
You will be able to stop passing judgment on others when you remember that everyone is accountable to God. That means they aren’t accountable to you, but remember, you are accountable to stop passing judgment on others.
Jesus says, “Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you” (Luke 6:37 GNT).