I hope and pray my message finds you doing well, feeling blessed, and continuously experiencing the love of God through Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit. We have a wonderful church family and a loving spirit about us that others frequently comment about as something unique and different about Zion Memorial. Thank you for being who God desires for you to be...and I fortunately include myself in the you.
We are an imperfect people seeking and serving a perfect God as we strive for perfection, sometimes doing a little better and sometimes doing a little worse. It is in the latter that we struggle.
When we fall short, when we fail, when we stumble, shame can cause us to sometimes want to run and hide. Sometimes we may worry about others finding out and begin to feel the weight of conviction that, without Christ, may make us feel condemnation.
As children of God, we should remember that there is no condemnation in Christ. Now, that bears repeating. THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST.
Now, no condemnation does not mean that there is no conviction...and, if there is conviction, there must also be judgment.
What is the phrase we often hear when we want to talk to someone, frequently a Christian brother or sister, about something going wrong and they respond in a fit of anger?
“You can’t judge me! Only God can judge me!”
Beloved, please know this, loving correction from God will come to us in the form of Godly parents, siblings, friends, and church family, those who love us.
Even in disputes, the Apostle Paul shares in 1 Corinthians 6:1-3, “When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels - to say nothing of ordinary matters?”
Looks like we should judge each other, not with an eye towards criticism but with a desire to bring peace that the world would be oh so glad for us to forfeit and make the church another institution to be mocked, derided, and denigrated for hypocritically saying one thing and doing another.
But, what if we showed the world a different way, a better way, a more excellent way, Christ’s way, the way of love, the way of reconciliation, the way of joy, the way of peace?
If we judge as God would have us to judge, looking beyond the sin and seeing the sinner, looking beyond the action and seeing the actor, looking beyond the brokenness and seeing the broken, perhaps God would bless us to judge each other, which we admittedly do anyway, in a way that leads all from condemnation and towards conviction on the way to repentance that reveals the newness in life that should be a part of who we all are as Christians.
So, in love, I say to you, “I can judge and will only seek to do so to help you to become your best you...and you should want me to.”
If we all could consider praying for God to help us to adopt that attitude and mindset, perhaps being judged would not be something to be feared but embraced by those who believe your greatest desire is not to harm them but to help them.
You are going to judge anyway. Make your judgment count for the cause of Christ.
As a reminder, no HOPE Wednesday for the summer. I will be sharing the Summer Mini Lessons scheduled with the church family soon.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!