One of the greatest hindrances to God’s love is judgement. As Christians, we often take it upon ourselves to judge others. We judge people by how they look. We judge people by how they vote. We judge people by how they spend their time. We judge people by how they spend their money. We judge people based on our own perceptions of the world and by our own systems of belief…but the way we perceive is not someone else’s reality. And the way someone else perceives us isn’t accurate either. The only one who perceives in absolute truth and understanding is God. The Father. The Creator. The One who knit us together in our mother’s wombs. God knows you. God knows me. And the above Scripture makes it clear that God did not send Christ to judge the world, but to save it. When we focus only on John 3:16, we miss the point. Yes, Christ brings salvation, but it is a salvation born of love. God saves because he loves. This is the great love story of all of Scripture. God created. God loved. God wants to be reconciled with those he loves. And who does God love? The answer is in John’s Gospel–God loves the world. Think about that. We look at the world and see something broken. God looks at the world and sees something he loves in need of salvation. God doesn’t just sit idly by while 2020 rages around us. He is acting in the midst of the hurt, the divisiveness, the despair, and the fear to bring salvation. He’s there in the nursing home workers who decided to move into the nursing home where they worked in order to protect their residents. He’s there in the volunteers who give of their time to make sure families in need have a meal. He’s there in the friend who calls to say, “Hey, it’s been rough. But, I’m here.” He’s there in the kindness people show to strangers as they try and navigate the craziness of shopping in the midst of a pandemic. He’s there in the forgiveness someone offers when they have been wronged, or they have perceived a wrong. When we choose love over hate, peace over fear, kindness over bitterness, contentment over envy, confidence over insecurity, God is there.
God doesn’t condemn us, even when we deserve it. So, how can Jesus followers take it upon themselves to pass judgement on others? Our job is to love others without condemnation.
Today, have an honest conversation with God about judging others. Ask God to reveal to you the stereotypes or self-righteousness you have within you. Then, ask God to help you as you work to love others without judgement. Seek to see others through Christ’s eyes.
Blessings and Peace,