We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond. —Gwendolyn Brooks
I have a friend whose daughter graduated from seminary. Shortly after graduating, she called her parents to tell them she was a lesbian and shared an apartment with her girlfriend. Being a solid family who doesn’t shy away from hard conversations, my friend called a family member and a good friend and told them the news.
The family member said, “Wow. So tell me, what are you reading? What are you learning? How can we dive into this conversation with you?”
The friend said, “Well, we’ll pray for repentance and that she’ll see truth.”
One person leaned toward grace, and the other leaned toward truth, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about grace and truth. They are thoroughly committed to both, but they lean just a little bit. And in that leaning, there’s enough room for Satan to wedge himself in there and divide.
If we want to be people full of grace and full of truth, it might benefit us to start in Luke 6:37, which says, “Do not judge.” The word is krino from which we get our English words critic, criticism, critique, and criticize.
It’s an imperative statement—a command—forbidding us from judging others. Jesus is reminding us that He’s not taking applications for judges. We have a Judge; His name is Jesus. There’s no need for us to do His job. He is more than adequate.
But there are some who struggle with this. They’re convinced that if Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever—and He’s living in us and expresses Himself through us—then He’ll express Himself as judge through us.
It’s not illogical, but there is a better way. (More tomorrow!)
Father, it isn’t always easy to be a part of a church family, but it seems as though relationships would deepen if I abandoned criticism. Rewrite my thought life, so the temptation to judge is emptied and replaced with the fullness of grace and truth. Amen.
Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?