Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
Yesterday, during a conversation with a sister in Christ, I was checked on something that has been on my mind for the past few days. In the past, up til now, I have been too quick to use snapshots to determine the authenticity of a person’s relationship with Jesus Christ. This sister and I were discussing a coworker who has a penchant for filthy language.
Her – You know, he cusses a lot. I don’t like that.
Me – I KNEW there was something that made me think he wasn’t a Christian.
Her – That doesn’t mean he isn’t a Christian. There ARE Christians who cuss.
It made me think – Yes, all believers are in different levels of their sanctification, and while we are called to be perfect and holy, we’re not, and we very much so fall short. And what if someone were to look at snapshots of MY life ? There are many moments where my behaviors don’t reflect the Lord Jesus. I am in no way proud of it, but it’s true. I have had moments of anger and various other sinful behaviors, where if someone were to see me in those moments, they’d probably assume I was one who didn’t know the Lord! In this, I’m convicted, especially in light of the Matthew 7 Scripture I referenced above.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
The same things I see in other people, they are probably seeing in me. There were moments after I 1st got saved where I used profanity, took part in physical relations with the opposite sex, and various other sins. This didn’t mean I wasn’t saved. At this time in my life, those things are no longer a part of it. By no means have I attained perfection, oh… far from it! But my life as a Christian has changed as the Lord sanctifies and prunes me. The fruit that the Lord, in His grace, has caused me to bear, attests that I am of Him, even though I have a myriad of weak moments where I give in to my sin… *sigh*.
I am nowhere NEAR as gracious and merciful as my Father. I judge people and consider them unsaved without being in their lives to see them on a regular basis. How horrible am I. My eyes contain trees, yet I find much fault with the splinters of others.
While I can’t assume someone’s salvation, I cannot assume their non-salvation. And even with all of the above, I am sure not to negate 1 John 3:
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:9-10 ESV
There’s such a difference between a video and a snapshot. A video is life being lived; a snapshot is but a moment. May I not add more to the Gospel of grace:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
Galatians 1:6-7 ESV
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of grace. We didn’t have to work to be called, and works wouldn’t merit salvation anyhow… It is by God’s own graciousness that He calls people to salvation. Who am I to strip such a beautiful thing from a beautiful God ?
With this, I repent, and pray for His grace to see others the way He sees them. We’re ALL sinners, and as Robin Boisvert said in his 12/16/07 sermon, he’s never heard one pig say to another, ‘You stink’.
May I NOT lose my convictions, but may I operate in more grace when it comes to seeing others.