It is unfortunate, but when most non-Christians think of the Church, and of us as Christians, they probably think of judgmentalism. We don’t do a great job of seeing our own logs, while we claim to be experts at spotting specks of dust in the eyes of others. I would prefer that God look on me with grace, and judge me with His heart of forgiveness. Do I do that for others? How have I contributed to the Pharisaical reputation that Christians have? I should not be passing judgement on the weaknesses of others, unless I want my own weaknesses to be judged just as harshly by others, and God!
The last verse is odd. It seems out of place, yet Jesus apparently says it right here … between the admonition against judging others without dealing with our own stuff, and telling us to ask God for things and we will receive. What can we say? Perhaps Jesus is wrapping up the admonition about judging by reminding us that somethings are not appropriate for all circumstances. Our holding each other accountable is appropriate, but judging those outside the body of Christ is a waste, and simply results in tarnishing God’s beautiful laws and turning those outside the faith against us. This would be tragic, for now it is harder to reach the lost. How many times have we heard excuses about liking Christ, but hating “those judegemental Christians”? I weap to think of how I may have contributed to making it harder for the love of God to break through into someone’s life by my ill-guided attempts to speak God’s truth into their lives. The first thing they need in their lives is God’s love, not His “truth” (or at least my version of it). Wasn’t it God’s love that drew me to know Him more? Wasn’t is the unconditional acceptance and forgiveness that made me desire to know Him and His truth more fully? His laws are good and just, and even beautiful, but only because I know they come from His heart of love for us.
Lord, help me to show Your love. Your heart. Your compassion and forgiveness. May I not contribute to the lost-ness of others by my refusal to offer them the same grace and mercy I long for from You! May I model for them the love of a Savior who died so that they may live … who died so that I may live!