I’m not judging you.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a story about the struggles of a newly minted single Christian woman. In the story, this woman, Diana, had woken up from a night of passion with her ex and had to deal with the guilt of it all. That story, titled Morning After, was my way of saying that our struggles don’t simply go away just because we’ve decided to follow Christ. Of course there was heartbreak and drama.

A couple of readers reached out to me after reading Morning After. They wanted me to know that they enjoyed the drama aspect of the story and that they could relate all too well to the struggles of Diana. However, they felt that the church, the place where they were supposed to get refuge, was instead the biggest persecutor of their struggles.

Finger pointing.

I was saddened by this revelation, but not surprised. Haven’t we all, at some point, heard from non-christians who complain about the judginess of Christians? Don’t we all know a person who left a certain church, or left the church all together, because they could not take the overwhelming perfection the church demands?

Have you been judged for the way you dress? You may not even be remotely indecent but it could be the cut of your dress. Are you a man with dreadlocks? Do you have a tattoo? Have you had sex outside of marriage? Do you have some questions about the church and have been told to blindly follow church doctrine? Have you ever been in a church service where an unmarried couple who have “sinned” have been asked to apologise to the church? Have you seen how the looks of disdain have followed this unfortunate couple? And how there’s really no redemption for them in the eyes of the congregation? Have you felt judged by Christians?

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over my life as a Christian is that Jesus doesn’t demand perfection from us. Society is what demands perfection. If anything, Jesus was a rebel who broke societal norms by communing with people who were considered to be ‘undesirables’. As the church, this is who we are called to emulate. This is who we are called to follow.

The only expectation Jesus has of us is to believe in Him and in His Grace. And as we increase in our faith, the parts of us that are ‘undesirable’ decrease and it gets easier to deal with the temptation and the struggles. And of course, the two greatest commandments which He gave in Matthew 22:37-39 which are all about love. Loving God, loving self and loving others.

And if we are to love, how then do we judge? Should we even think of judging each other? For me, this judginess is the hubris of thinking that we are better than everyone else, just because we sin differently than they do. We hold ourselves to impossible standards, trying to perform Christianity instead of actually being followers of Christ. And we judge people for not attaining these standards, yet we can’t even reach those standards. The difference is that we are not caught. It has become a game of appearances.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Matthew 7:1-2

If perfect love casts out all fear, then why do we have to fear coming to church. Why is the church acting like society where they don’t welcome the different. The person we follow was rebel. We are supposed to be rebels too. He did not fit in, He stood out. No one who is struggling wants to be told how bad they are. They want to be loved and held through their struggles. They want – need- to be helped. The Bible, in Galatians 6:2 says to carry each other’s burdens. But do we really do that? Or do we look down on people who’s burdens are unlike ours?

In 2016, I read Visions From Heaven by Wendy Alec. A particularly story stuck with me because it’s a perfect representation of what we have become. I’ll paraphrase the story since I read this book a while back. Wendy tells of a vision she had where christians where seated on a platform having a tea party. They were dressed to the nines and looked amazing. Just below them were people who wanted to be let into the party but they weren’t ‘desirable’. They wanted help from the Christians. But the Christians didn’t help. Instead, they went on judging the people and drinking tea.

Dear Christian. We are called to love. Instead of pointing fingers, let’s reach out.

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7 Comments

  1. The topic of sin and the sinner should be biblically explored much more:

    Just a few bible verses from the gospels on sin and the sinner.

    Mark 7:20-23 KJV
    And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

    Matthew 9:13 KJV
    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    John 8:24 KJV
    I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

    Luke 6:45 KJV
    A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

    Luke 5:32 KJV
    I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    John 3:16-17 KJV
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

  2. Thank you for sharing on this Mable thou I have to say I have held reservations in the area people refer to as judgement today. Unfortunately we are also in a world today that does more bandaging than helping ,an invisible line between judgement and being rebuked etc. What is it to truly be a follower of Christ? It’s to Obey his word not in our strength but by his power, wisdom and help from him. We definitely fall short over and over ,us being aware of our fallen nature does it excuse the wrong. In efforts to be a welcoming church we have also forgotten a Just God. This arose those questions for me again…it calls me to study it more. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. This is so true. And its unfortunate that its in the church. We have truly forgotten to follow Jesus’ example and have set our own standards to follow in the pretence that it is God’s will

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