Have you ever met someone who felt they’d “earned” the right to judge another?
Perhaps they were done a serious injustice by this person whom they are quick to criticize that leads them to believe it’s perfectly acceptable to cast judgment for all of eternity. Perhaps you tend to agree with them. After all, the act that brought the onslaught of criticism was pretty detestable so the very least the victim deserves is a lifetime of scoffing and gossiping as some sort of payment for what this person put them through. Sounds reasonable, especially if you have found yourself fighting the same emotions. They hurt you so aren’t you entitled to scrutinize every little thing they’ve ever done wrong in their past? And that’s not near enough punishment for their crime so every future blunder should be fair game too, right?
“Well,” you may be saying, “what terrible people you have been talking about!” But wait a minute! You are just as bad. When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are talking about yourselves, for you do these very same things. And we know that God, in justice, will punish anyone who does such things as these. Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and overlook you when you do them, too? Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. (Romans 2:1-4 TLB)
You and I are neither judge nor jury. Given the fact that every one us has fallen short, caused others pain & outright sinned, we have no authority to cast that stone at another human being. How can we effectively deliver a sentence when we ourselves have been in the “guilty as charged” seat?
It pains me to see so many people walking around dying inside, suffering from emotional distress, because they can’t let go of bitterness and rage that scarred their hearts. I am in no way saying that feelings of resentment, anger & the like are unjustified. In most cases, deep wounds are in place because of an abuse of trust. What I am proposing is that those hurts are not your ticket to forever shame the offender. Feelings are not sinful, it’s how we react as a result of those feelings that leads us astray
I get it. It feels good, in a twisted sort of way, to despise the one who caused you immense pain, or worse than that, hurt your family. I’ve been on the giving end of a hate-filled glare….but I’ve also been on the receiving end and THAT is why I try to check myself before delivering a hardening stare in anyone’s direction.
There is much freedom to be found when we forgive those who’ve trespassed against us and it opens the door for us to receive the same grace and forgiveness for our own trespasses.