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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why I Don't Condemn People

I don't condemn people. I don't think I have the right. This is the reason that convicted criminals don't sit on juries. The guilty have no right to judge others. I am guilty of sin. I have no right to judge others.

This doesn't mean that I don't know what is right or wrong. It also doesn't mean that I can't tell people what is right or wrong. I can even tell them the consequences of their wrong actions. This is not the same as condemning people. Condemnation requires a sentence being pronounced upon that person. I have no right to determine to act as judge. That is reserved for God.

The Bible is clear in my judgment. I am not to judge others. I am to get the sins in my life cleared up before I tell others that there is sin in their lives. I may be required to be a part of the consequences for their sins. I should do this in love with the hope that they will return to the fellowship of the body of Christ.

I realize that some people interpret my being a part of the consequences of their sin as condemnation. It really isn't. Any judgment is based on what the Bible says. This is God's Word. It is what He has said. It isn't my right to change what God has said. I am merely His servant who obeys Him.

God's desire is that all people walk with Him. He does this out of His love. His will is that people receive an abundant life. Walking with God is the only means of a truly abundant life. Any addition to what God desires for you is really a subtraction from that abundant life. No one learned this more clearly than Adam and Eve.

Sin has consequences. I cannot change that. I want each person who has sinned to realize that he or she can come home to God at any moment. The consequences are there to bring that person home and to warn others of committing that sin.

Love is the abiding reason for my forgiveness of others. Love is also the reason I must confront people in their sins. I don't condemn them but I must tell them of the consequences. I must do this even if they reject me and what I am saying.

Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)
1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 "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? 4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

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