We Are All Guilty
Let me start out by saying that with everything I write about, I have been guilty of doing those exact things. I have been stuck in only being able to see what I was taught, or what I had grown up with, and not letting God lead me past what I “thought” I knew. I have been stuck in thinking men had a higher place with God, instead of allowing God to show me that men and women were created completely equal. I have been stuck in adding to the division in the world, instead of promoting peace for our world. I have been stuck in seeing a God who wanted my legalism, instead of seeing a God who wanted my love. And yes, I have been stuck in judging other people, instead of trying to understand other people.
When I allowed God, God showed me a different way than how I had traditionally thought. Now, I am not out to force my views on anyone or to change their thinking in who they see God to be, I am simply sharing what God has done in my life. If this is not for you, then don’t read it. However, if you have felt God’s leading to explore things that just don’t quite add up, then you can see where God leads you with this. Do not focus on what I say, focus on where God leads you. After all, I am nothing and I can’t change anyone, only God can do that.
1 Corinthians 3: 7
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
There is so much judgement in our world today. We see it happen every day in almost every aspect of life. Why do we do this? Why do we focus on someone else’s life instead of focusing on our own? More often than not, we judge people simply because they look, act, or believe differently than we do. We make snap judgements based on a lack of true understanding. If we are judgmental, we tend to jump to conclusions. We make judgements from assumptions we have made, with limited information, without taking the time to understand where someone else is truly coming from or what is going on in their life. Instead of “asking questions” to gain information and understanding, we “make statements” based on assumptions, or ask questions, with no interest in trying to understand the answer, but instead to respond with a pre-planned statement we want to give. If we love God, why do we do this?
Great Words to Live By
Matthew 7: 1-5
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Do “NOT” Judge
First and foremost, we are not to judge. There is only one judge, so when we judge, not only are we doing what we are not supposed to be doing, we are also putting ourself on equal footing with the only one who is to judge. This may be the most arrogant thing we can do in our life. There always has, always is, and always will be only one who has the credentials to judge…..and that’s not us! No wonder these verses go on to tell us, that if we judge others, then we will be judged in the same way and the measure we use on other people, is the same measure that will be used on us. Now, for any of us who are not aware of this, we will never stand up to being judged in the same way we judge someone else. We are all human, we are all flawed, and none of us are perfect. As such, we would never hold up to the standard that we would judge someone else by, because in some fashion, we do the exact same thing.
Have You Heard the Term Hypocrite?
Why do you think so many religious people are called hypocrites? It for the exact reason we just talked about, when we judge other people, and still do other things that we should not do, we are hypocrites. Many times we think what we are doing is not as bad as what someone else is doing. “Well, at least I’m not doing that.” If we compare ourselves in what we do, to what someone else does, we put ourselves on very dangerous footing, because none of us keep the entirety of God’s law, and if we don’t keep it all, we break it all.
James 2: 10
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking it all.
Enough Work to Last a Lifetime
The biggest issue we run into with regard to being a hypocrite comes in the second half of these verses. Paraphrasing, it tells us, “why are we looking at what other people are doing when we have enough stuff in our own life to pay attention to?” All of us should be keenly aware that there are enough issues in our life to last a lifetime in becoming who God would have us to be. Knowing this, the final part of this verse becomes a metaphor. Since we have a lifetime of work ahead of us, we will never be at a point to “remove” the speck from our brother’s eye. What is more likely to happen, is when other people see us stop judging, and instead focus on ourselves to be the best we can be, they will be led by God to follow suit.
A Week of Judgement
This past week has contained a lot of judgement at me. I have been told I ignore what I don’t understand. I have been told I am on some kind of drugs. I have been told I have rejected much of the Old Testament, even though I have only posted four portions of the Old Testament that God has led me to give thought to. And, I have been told I am a false teacher. All of this judgement has come from “religious” people.
What Does the Bible Say About False Teachers?
Here are some of the things the bible says about false teachers.
2 Peter 2: 10-11; 13-14; 18
This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed-an accursed brood. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing top the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
Let me be clear. I am nothing and God is everything. I want everyone to come to know God. I am not saying that where God has led me, needs to be where God will lead you, that is totally up to God. I am just sharing where God has led me. Too many people today act as if they were God, instead of following the actions of Jesus.
Peace, Acceptance and Love
Again, my intent is not to destroy anyone’s belief system, but perhaps to strengthen it. Over time, we have turned the bible into God. When you can open your mind and look at the entirety of what the bible says, it becomes very clear that some of it may not be what God would have said at all. The reason this is so important is because some people use the bible for superiority, exclusion, condemnation and judgement, which is a direct contradiction to what God would want. When we finish this journey, my hope is that we can replace this with equality, peace, love and acceptance, which is exactly what God would want.