I was that girl. I was the girl who whispered to her friend’s ear and commented on everything wrong about “that” person across the room: the way they look, how they drank, their obnoxiousness, their behavior, how stupid they were, etc, etc. I judged. I was the one who casted judgment. Slowly and quietly, overtime, the Holy Spirit nudged this verse for me to acknowledge:

“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? 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? 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.” Matthew 7:3-5

JUDGMENT. This ugly word is what causes people to walk away from the church. Judgment often accompanied by criticism is one of the main reasons why we can’t spread the gospel of Jesus. Every time I see a Christian marching a street corner at a gay pride parade or a sporting event, with a frowning expression, and a sign that reads “You will go to Hell,” I want to cringe.
Certainly, I commend their boldness to spread the gospel…standing outside with a sign takes courage to be in front of all these people.  However, their approach is unlike anything Jesus would do.
In Christianity, we have the ability to steer away unbelievers as much as we do believers. In true Christianity, we must provide a Christ-like love in ALL circumstances.
I once saw a sign that read:

“If Christ didn’t come to condemn the world, then its probably not our job either.”

If God tasked us with the responsibility to spread the gospel, then what is the best way to do it? By following His command:

“Jesus replied, “Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

There is an order to His command. It comes in 5 parts:

1) Love God with ALL YOUR HEART

2) Love God with ALL YOUR SOUL

3) Love God with ALL YOUR MIND

4) Love YOURSELF

5) Love YOUR NEIGHBOR

 

Notice how God said to love first with your heart, secondly with your soul, and then with your mind. I have seen way too many Christians who love God with all their minds, but lack loving Him on the heart and soul level.

I believe if we love God on ALL these levels, we can truly know the character of Jesus himself and how He spreads love. Above all, once we love ourselves, we have the POWER to not judge, but to love on our neighbors the way Jesus loves them.

What about you? Have you been the victim of judgment or were you the undercover or outspoken “judger”? Have you seen other poor ways Christians spread the gospel? I’d love to hear your story!

Hope this blesses you. Let’s receive freedom from judgment and win those nearest to us with our Christ-like love.

All the love to you,

Patty Tower