It seems to me that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy passionately posting about judgment and the spiritual walk in other people’s blogs, instead of flowing out of my own blog. This topic is something I am fervently passionate about: how our judgment of others has no place in this world, only God’s judgment matters; Christs religion of love vs. man’s religion of law; and how our spritual paths to Jesus are very different from the person next to us, and that’s ok. While looking up scripture on judgment, I came across a brilliant scripture in Romans…
Romans 14: The Weak and the Strong
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:
” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
This speaks volumes! I read this scripture over and over, and was just in awe. It’s all right there. The food is the metaphor for our life. One person’s feast is another’s forbidden fruit. Who are we to say what another person’s feast must be? And at the same time, we know what is right and what is not for our own life. It’s always apparent. And we are in control of that. But we are not in control of someone else’s path. They know what is right and what is not, and it is between them and God what they choose to do with that knowledge.
I am an avid celebrator of the religion of love. I am not against the law of Christianity, don’t get me wrong. God wants us to be obedient to Him, and that includes following His law. But most important of all, God loves us, and wants us to love Him. And because He loves us, He saved us through His son. The most known scripture in all the Bible is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But it goes on….. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:17-18. It does not say we will not get into Heaven if we do not follow God’s laws, if we are sinners. It says we are saved through Jesus. God loves us, imperfect as we are. We are saved through Jesus. This is why Jesus died on the cross, He took our sins and placed them on His body, He suffered and died and rose three days later, and all so that we could live eternally with Him, the Father, Son, the Holy Ghost. AMEN!
And beyond that, the most important thing is for us to develop an intimate relationship with Jesus, and share that amazing love with others so that they know, they know just how wonderful our Jesus is, how loving and forgiving and holy our Lord is. When we as Christians point our little bony fingers at others and claim that their lives are not worthy of the Lord by condemning the very person they have only known themselves to be, how exactly are they supposed to discover that amazing love? “…make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Love. Love. Love. It’s God’s heartbeat, He wants US. He wants our NEIGHBOR. Condemnation never won any battles, it certainly won’t win any souls. There are people out there who are running the other way from Jesus, certain He HATES them because of the way He has been portrayed. We are God’s warriors, how are we doing Him justice? Are we pointing fingers, or offering embraces? It matters not to us how someone’s life looks. It matters how we helped them to know the Lord and love Him as we love Him. Let God be in the details, not us. We are not God. When we force our visions on someone else, we are telling God we do not trust Him to work in that person’s life. We can nurturingly guide, we can use God’s truth in a loving way rather than a spiteful weapon. But we shall not steer according to our truths.
We are warriors of Christ, but this is the battle for peace and love, the way of Jesus Christ. Remember, it’s for Him, not for us.