I have finally made it to the 8th and final sin on my list of sins Christians are starting to ignore. In the way of reminder, let me offer the list again to help set the stage. We started with self-righteousness/selfishness. From there, we moved onto sins like patriotism, fear/worry, pride, gluttony/coveting, gossip, and hatred. I have set aside this rainy Monday to address the final sin of being judgmental so we can bring the series to a close and move on to some other things. In a seminary chapel service back in the day, the guest preacher commented that Matthew 7:1 had officially replaced John 3:16 as the most quoted verse in the Bible. It’s quoted by Christians and non-Christians alike. “Judge not, that you be not judged” appeals to the hardened atheist and the most devout Christian. After all, Jesus said these very words. They are printed in red in most Bibles. But Jesus didn’t stop with the nifty little catch phrase. He went on to attach an unforgettable image of someone noticing a speck in his brother’s eye (and pointing it out), while having a log sticking out of his own eye. The picture still packs a punch even to this very day.
The Scriptures have much to say on this subject. For example, we are to discipline sinful, unrepentant church members. We are to stick to our guns on things the Bible calls “sin” or “sinful.” We are not asked to close our eyes to the world we live in and we are certainly not forbidden to call something sinful. The problem is many love to point out sin as though it is their spiritual obligation to the Kingdom and yet they have no awareness of their own sinfulness…hence the log sticking out of our own eye. Jesus’ words in Matt 7 call to mind the congregation Jesus was addressing. In addition to the run of the mill Israelites, there were also religious leaders there…who held black belts in this particular sin. These folks loved to find the speck in someone’s eye. Pointing out “bad” things in others certainly had a righteous feel to it. Sadly it still does.
Christians are definitely in a tough spot in today’s world. It’s as though an invisible noose is tightening around our necks with each passing day. In some political realms, Christians are now the official bad guys as they try to stay committed to the teachings of Scripture ethically and morally. The sins of homosexuality and abortion are considered largely “normal” here in 2019. To even suggest there are absolutes will draw fire from many. Across the board, Christians are now widely recognized as a judgmental bunch. Pointing out sinful behavior in a nation where the spiritual barometer has changed is really complicating things.
To be clear, this blog is not about judging sin from a Christian’s point of view. This blog is tied to the realm we find Jesus addressing in Matthew 7:1. Christians are never uglier on paper than when we are pointing out specks in other people’s eye with logs sticking out of our own. We must remember we are all sinful. Were it not for the grace of God in sending Jesus into the world, hopelessness would be our eternal state. We must resist the temptation of being busybodies who pass judgment on those who might disagree with us. We must approach life with gratitude in our hearts for God’s grace and patience with us. We must think much of the forgiveness we have received from our Lord through the sacrifice of His dear Son. Yes, we must point out sin and stand our ground. But may God help us not to be those with logs in our eyes pointing out specks in the eyes of others.
I have to believe it stung like crazy when Jesus pointed this sin out to His hearers on the Sermon on the Mount. I would argue that it stings Jesus when He sees His people acting in this fashion in today’s world. If we ignore this sin we bring shame to His Kingdom. We will push people away from Christ instead of bringing people to Him if we are not careful. In short, must we be biblical??? Yes!!! Must we be judgmental??? No!!!
Blessings to all. Thanks again Monticello!! 🙂