Summary: We are to bless others not curse them.
“It’s so Un-cool to Judge”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN
What brought you or first attracted you to Christ?
Was it a judgmental and harsh attitude or was it a grace-filled loving acceptance of who you are and where you are?
C.S. Lewis wrote, “there is someone I love, even though I don’t approve of what he does.
There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me.
There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most.
That person is me.
There are plenty of things I do that I don’t like, but if I can love myself without approving of all I do, I can also love others without approving of all they do.
As that truth has been absorbed into my life, it has changed the way I view others.”
Friends, what could happen if we were to view others with the same grace we extend to ourselves?
We would be living a bit more like Jesus would we not?
We are not to judge because that’s what God is like.
God is astonishingly merciful!
Anyone who knows their own heart truly, and still goes on experiencing God’s grace and love, will agree with this!
How can we, God’s forgiven people, be any less merciful?
Our passage for this evening is part of a larger sermon by Jesus.
Before this, Jesus is instructing His listeners to love their enemies…
…to do good to those who hate them…
…to bless those who curse them…
…to pray for those who mistreat them…
…Jesus says, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have a merciful, loving, forgiving God?
Isn’t it marvelous to know that we have a God Who does not repay evil for evil…
…but even loves us long before we love God.
It was “while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us.”
God loves some pretty seemingly unlovable people, and this should be our aim in life as well!!!
For it is only because of God’s love for you that you are in Christ!
And it is in showing others the unconditional love of Christ that we are able to do what we have been called to do…
…make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!!!
As Christ followers we are to learn to respond to people the way Jesus did!
Look how Jesus influenced those who followed Him.
It was primarily through relationships.
And when it comes to our interaction with others, we ought to realize that our relationships, our interactions with people comprise the picture of Jesus that people retain.
God has wired human beings so that spiritual influence occurs most often through relationships.
We do not “spin” the Christian message—we live it.
We do not exaggerate or hype our faith; we embrace and describe all the potency, depth, complexity, and realism of following Christ!
A wise Christian has written, “Do you want to remove the unhealthy judgmentalism you have in regard to the poor? Make sure you have poor people who you love and welcome into your life.
Do you want to remove the unhealthy judgmentalism you have in regard to persons of other races and nationalities?
Make sure you have persons of other races and nationalities whom you love and welcome in your life.”
And of course, this could apply to any type of person we feel a judgmental attitude toward.
Jesus gives a clear example of accepting persons where they are.
Think of the woman caught in adultery, whom the religious leaders were about to stone…
…or what about the tax collectors—Matthew was a tax collector when Jesus called to him, “Come, follow me.”
Jesus scandalized a judgmental culture by hanging out with the least desirable people…
…the least and the last.
Would they have loved Him so if He had judged them?
You have to love Jesus’ sense of humor in this passage of Scripture for this evening.
In making His points, He makes them memorable by deliberately sketching a verbal cartoon.
He talks about a blind man leading another blind man…
… “Will they not both fall into a pit?”
Then He says, “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?”
Ever seen anyone walking around with a plank in their eye?
Kinda funny picture is it not?
It’s funny but memorable and true at the same time.
It has often been said that what people criticize in others is frequently, though not always, what they are subconsciously aware of or afraid of in themselves.