Judge Me Not – By: Chrissy Jacobs
I always get annoyed when people make random, harsh judgments of others. We are all guilty of it, myself included, but I find as I get older that I am trying more and more to remind myself that we are all different. Not one of us is experiencing the exact same situation, from the exact same perspective.
I had been thinking about this, but then I saw a post on Facebook (post date on Facebook is May 14, 2014) that spurred me to the keyboard. It was a post by a fairly well-known individual, Jake Hamilton, who makes his living in Christian music. His posts and messages are all faith based and claim to be about love and humility. So when I saw his post, it angered me even more that it was coming from a “Christian.”
“Divorce is asking your children to carry a burden that you yourself were not willing to carry.”
I don’t even have children, and I immediately was taken back to a moment in my life where I felt like filing for divorce was my only option. I was overwhelmed with shame, & sadness. I felt all of those old memories start to descend on me like a wet blanket. Then, just before completely taking the bait and falling into the depths of despair, I thought, wait a minute,… This guy has never been divorced! What does he know about it and who is he to pass this judgment on me? I started to read the comments on the post and they were equally divided between those who saw a great opportunity condemn divorces ("God hates divorce", "divorce is for the weak", my personal favorite; "if you're in an abusive marriage, stay married just separate from each other.") and then those like myself who felt hurt and judged by the comment. It was a comment that stirred judgment and sadness, and did not promote the message of the Bible that he claims to be all about. Do I believe that divorce is God's favorite reality show? No. Do I believe my divorce makes me unredeemable? Absolutely not. And so, my bold statement and belief:The church is losing members and not attracting the people who are lost and hurting, because too many Christians (Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Lutherans, Non-Denominational, Insert your religious brand here) are using the Bible as a weapon to judge and hurt others. Put your Bible down, throw your stones into the river and stop judging situations that aren't yours to judge. Here’s a shocking revelation: it’s none of your business. Whoa. That’s crazy talk. The Bible’s first commandment to us was to love one another. Let me ask you, when was the last time someone judged you and it made you feel really loved? When was the last time someone judged you, and as a result of that judgment, you changed your mind or actions for good? When was the last time someone judged you and it made a positive impact on your life? Judging others is weakness, in that someone feels insecure and/or threatened by something they either disagree with or don't know enough about and so they use judgment as a defense mechanism to make themselves feel better. "I'm obviously better than that person, because I don’t do —-" instead of taking the time to get to know the person or learn more about his or her situation.
One of my all time favorite arguments is gay rights. Ultimately, anyone who has strong opposition to gay rights has an argument that is based on the Bible. It’s an argument that spurs heated debates, protests,and slews of angry words on social media. “God hates gay people.” “Homosexuality is a sin.” “Gay marriage is ruining the sanctity of marriage.” Um, is it? Does He? Before you put words in Jesus’ mouth and regardless of your feelings on the legitimacy of the Bible, let’s look at this logically for a moment. The Bible mentions homosexuality roughly six times in 1,900 pages (give or take depending on your version). Divorce gets approximately 18 mentions, and loving your neighbor gets 80 mentions! 80 times Jesus instructed us to love each! Yet, as a society of “loving” Christians, we condemn anything that doesn’t appear in the Nativity scene and we wonder why no one wants to go to church anymore. Kids these days… I beg to differ. Adult Christians these days…
The next time you are tempted to grab your Bible and head to a rally, let me ask you – when was the last time you saw picket signs outside of a divorce lawyer’s office? When did divorce make national news, aside from the 50% failure rate? When was the last time someone who’s been divorced, was refused the right to get married again? Yet, it’s in the Bible 3 times as much as homosexuality! If you’re a Christian, you can’t pick and choose which rules are the most comfortable to follow and which will work nicely as a weapon, and if you do, well that makes you a hypocrite and that’s in the Bible as a sin too. Quite the conundrum isn’t it? Instead, as you journey on in your search for significance and purpose, let’s focus in on the 80 other messages to love each other. Perhaps if we could master than one concept, to accept others for who they are, right now in this moment in time; we could stop using Jesus as a source of condemnation, and try Him out as a source of love and purpose.
Please leave your comments below, or toss me an e-mail:
Chrissy Jacobs: email@example.com
& Follow me on Twitter @chrissyjacobs31