Friday, August 6, 2021
Love, Acceptance, and Judgment
“An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:5-6 NLT).
What verse from the Bible would you choose if you had to name your favorite one?
If you asked a nonbeliever that question, it most likely would be one of these two: “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged” (Matthew 7:1 NLT), and “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (John 8:7 NLT).
Usually they like to quote one or both of these verses when you’re talking to them about their need for Jesus Christ and the need to turn from their sin.
For instance, they may get really indignant and say, “Well, doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Do not judge others, and you will not be judged’ and ‘Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone’?”
In other words, “Will you please go away now?”
The problem is they completely misinterpret what those verses mean. Was Jesus actually saying that a Christian is never to judge anyone or anything? Was He saying that we should never make an evaluation of a situation or a person’s conduct? Should we never, in any way, use our discernment and instead accept everyone and everything?
No, that is not what Jesus was saying.
As Christians, we should be discerning but not condemning. When Jesus said, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged,” He wasn’t saying that a Christian must love and accept everyone and never comment on their actions, conduct, or lifestyle.
The reality is that if you really care for someone, you need to tell them the truth. And sometimes you have to confront people about the sin that is keeping them from God. The Bible even tells us to speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15).
So, if you have some friends who will tell you the truth, be thankful. Because they are true friends.
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