Snobbing the snobs makes us snobs, too. We become the very people we are judging.
27:3 Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
When we start judging other people, we become the very people we are judging: sinners. Sinners are those who think differently than God. “To sin” means, “to miss the mark.” We take on the responsibility of God when it’s not our place to do so. But, it’s more than just action; it’s the reason for the action. What we believe determines how we act.
Jesus put a lot of emphasis on believing. We Westerners think of believing as thinking something is true. The believing that Jesus was talking about means, “to entrust,” “to put your faith in.” It’s the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge, or book knowledge and experience. Take Peter, for example, when he walked on water. All the other disciples believed that Jesus could walk on water. If Jesus had told them to come and join Him, would they have gone? We will never know. Who we DO know about is Peter. He believed and entrusted himself to Jesus’ command. What Peter had was faith. It wasn’t blind faith because Jesus told him to come, and Jesus Himself was walking on water. Peter had experiential faith, tested faith.
Consider, though, how long it took Jesus to bring Peter to the point of believing and trusting Jesus enough to walk on water. How many miracles had Peter seen Jesus perform? How many months had he heard Jesus’ teaching? It was enough to have a credible reason for believing. When people are acting or believing differently than we think they should, instead of judging them, we must remember that we are all on a journey with Jesus and pray for them. Our walk with Him is personal and individual. They may not be where we are on their walk in experiential faith. As much as we don’t want to allow wrong thinking or teaching, we must focus on those whom God has given us to influence. He will take care of everyone else.
One more thing: We never stop growing spiritually. There is way too much to learn for us to learn it all on this side of heaven. In fact, much of what He has in store for us must be experienced on His side! I think the first word we will speak in heaven is, “Oh!” Why? Because everything will be much different than we thought it was going to be (think three-dimensional thinking vs. multidimensional experiencing).
Giving people grace is the great lesson of church. If we can do it with each other, we should be able to do it with everyone.
Abba, judging other people according to my standards smacks of self-righteousness. May I learn to see them like You do. We are Your children, small children at that. May we deal with each other in grace as we all walk with You. Amen.