This past week, we explore a topic that was both purposeful and practical. The concept of what it means not to judge others. Like many of our topical discussions, we provide both the reasons why we shouldn’t judge others and practical steps to build discipline to be more like Christ in how we treat others.
Utilizing the Landfill Orchestra video to set up our discussion, we watched a community and people the world has thrown away because they live in a town full of trash. But one person saw something beautiful out of trash and created an orchestra full of students using instruments made of trash. The best line in this video is “People realize they shouldn’t throw away trash so carelessly. Well, we shouldn’t throw away people either.”
“People realize they shouldn’t throw away trash so carelessly. Well, we shouldn’t throw away people either.”
As sin-filled individuals, it’s common for us to immediately categorize or passed judgment on people. We focused on James 4:11-12, which says
“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”
There were three points we focused on why we shouldn’t judge others.
- It is UNchristian
- It is UNloving
- It is Unjustified
As Christians, we’re called to love our brothers and sisters, and not speak ill of them. We’re called to love others just as Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:37-39 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Lastly, we’re not called to be the judge. In James, he refers to the “one lawgiver.” This refers to God being the only one that’s commissioned to judge.
Judging is hard and as part of our post-lesson discussion, students believed it was part of our human nature to judge others. Here’s how we combat this sinful tendency.
- Remember you will be judged by the same standards as you judge others. Each time you read the Lord’s prayer, we’re reminded of this. In Matthew 6:12 “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” This is also reiterated in Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounced you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
- Remember you are accountable to God. Romans 14:12-13 “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” We are only accountable to God. You don’t give accounts for other’s behaviors.
- God is Merciful to You. In James 2:13 it says “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” God shows us mercy. God shows us love. God shows us forgiveness.