Don’t Judge Anyone

Susan Hetrick

Read: Luke 6:37-42

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. (v. 37 NIV)

In the Gospels you will see Jesus hanging out with people of questionable reputation, healing people of diseases, and assuring them of God’s forgiveness. He never once said to anyone, “I won’t heal you until you stop sinning,” or “You can’t eat with me because of your lifestyle!”

Jesus didn’t have a problem with “sinners.” The only people Jesus had problems with were those who believed they weren’t sinners! Jesus had issues with the religious leaders who enforced the letter of the law, while ignoring the spirit behind the law, and thinking they themselves were above the law.

It’s easy to point out the sins of others—especially if we don’t know them personally. It’s even easier to point out the sins of an entire group of people! This deflects the focus—if I point at them, no one will be looking at me! However, Jesus says this is hypocrisy. If I cannot or will not admit my own faults and failures, how dare I point out yours?

Let’s face it—we are all sinners. The good news is that Jesus has compassion for sinners. He understands our tendency to excuse or deny our own sinfulness, while finding fault with others. But then he says, “Stop it!” When we follow Jesus’ example, we learn not to judge other people’s behavior before taking a good hard look at our own. —Susan Hetrick

Prayer: Forgiving God, show me my own faults, and teach me compassion for others.