TYPICALLY, we judge people based on our perception of what right or wrong is. Categorised by our human standards. Because if one thing is bad for me, how can it possibly be good for another? We are called to hold each other, as Christians to a certain standard, but for some reason, we use that as a measure of “how Christian” another person is. Instead of adhering to God’s standard, we use ourselves as the ruler, how Christian are you compared to me?
A man gets into an accident and is brought into the emergency room with a woman. He’s had to have numerous emergency procedures performed since he’s arrived at the ER and now needs surgery. His wife must sign off on the surgery immediately or he dies, so the doctors ask the lady if she’ll sign off. She’s not his wife. A call is made to his wife, who comes in believing he was out of town. She walks into the room he’s in and sees his mistress sitting at his side. She could refuse to sign off on his surgery, and relegate him to a life of paralysis. Or she can look past it, sign the papers and allow him the life-saving surgery. She signs it. Not immediately, but she does.
I’m sure many people, myself and aforementioned woman included, would have seriously thought about the other option. Leave him to his mistress and let her care for him in his paraplegic state. How can she let him be saved? He cheated. He’s a good for nothing. However my thinking that pretty much goes against the fundamental principle we’re taught as Christians.
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” – John 13:34
If Jesus said it twice, it must be very important.
Always act in love. Granted, it isn’t the easiest thing to do, but if it were easy everybody and their grandmother would be doing it. Acting in love also means thinking in love, because that’s where our actions are conceived, before they are birthed. Ergo, our judgements sometimes lead to an ill disposition towards a person we don’t believe is “proper Christian”.
In the Bible, many people are excused for a variety of things and I’m slowly realising we are not all meant to live this Christian walk the same way. Here’s the relation to Samson: He wasn’t allowed to cut his hair. Ever. This was decided before he was even born. If all men in present-day Christiandom followed the same rules, beardgang wouldn’t be as exclusive as it is. There are numerous other men in the Bible that God loved and used who were allowed to cut their hair. It’s hard when God has things He would like you, as an individual, to refrain from, but you’re constantly comparing these things to someone else’s things. Why must I not drink any alcohol, but madam over there who sits next to me in church can pop bottles freely? Wait, I can go clubbing and still have a relationship with God, but Maame and her friends cannot? Why does the well-known womaniser get to find a good woman and settle down and the other good men are still in search of a good thing?
Because our destinies are (usually) exclusive of each other.
The things everyone is struggling with and fighting for are entirely different from the ones I am. Our methods are different. Our dreams are different. Our demons are different. Yes, we’re all attempting to be more like Jesus Christ, but in that attempt there are aspects of my life that need pruning and aspects of yours that are already well-pruned.
Two girls who have equally amazing relationships with God may differ in the fact that one has had sex before marriage and the other is saving herself. The one saving herself is no better than the one who has had sex or vice versa. For the virgin, saving herself means something entirely different to her than to her friend. And God understands that. God is not elevating the virgin for her choice anymore than her friend is being demoted for hers.
Let me clarify that I’m not endorsing an excuse to go and find every possible vice and engage in it under the pretext of “but God will understand”. It’s really just a reminder that we’re all fighting different things. I can’t judge the person who comes to church dressed in less-than-stellar clothes instead of a suit as if I knew what the struggle was for them to get clothes to wear at all. I’ve heard of the idea of presenting yourself in the best possible light to God, as a sign of respect. While that makes sense, it also makes equal sense that my possible best may be these less-than-stellar clothes, because I do not own a suit. No one should be looked down upon because of that.
Yes, there are guidelines we are all supposed to follow. And we must hold each other accountable to following these guidelines. However, we should also remember our human nature and attempt to refrain from judging other people because they do not Christian like us. As if you’re the Christianest of Christians.
Our judgements are not always overt. Sometimes it’s altering the things you think about, the way you speak or how you carry yourself. Sometimes it’s something intangible that cannot even be explained, but it’s usually something. It’s in the carpenter nature of Jesus Christ to prune you. As we’re being pruned, like plants in a garden, I’m learning to remember they aren’t all cut the same way.
In the mean time, let me stop judging this girl who is wearing underwear and claiming it’s a skirt. What? I’m aware there are aspects of my life that are not tres bien. But I said I was still learning. Slowly, but ever so surely.
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