Mike’s Meditations: Do Not Judge or Condemn

We have all, more than once, heard the phrase: “love the sinner, hate the sin.”  I wonder what results would emerge if each of us tried to explain exactly what that means.  What would it mean to show true compassion to the sinner?  Another question we might ask is:  “do we show mercy to sinners we like but not to those we do not know very well?”  Finally, do we acknowledge our own sins before we turn our attention to others’?

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Be merciful,” “Stop judging,” “Stop condemning,” and “Forgive” in chapter 6, verses 36 and 37.  A few verses later he asks:  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do as I command?”  I never really liked that question.  It seems a little personal.

Our society is trying to legislatively deal with issues that involve what some view as sinful.  The result usually leaves two groups with differing opinions who refuse to respect and listen to each other.  In essence, the merciful love that Jesus gives us and has commanded we give each other is missing.  Most Christians are very passionate about their beliefs and equally passionate in defending their faith.  Those who oppose those beliefs are pretty enthusiastic and fervent themselves.  We have proven one thing: continuing to argue with no respect for each human being involved in the debate has proven fruitless.  It is time to be obedient to Jesus’ commands.

Throughout this month, let’s pray and meditate on the ways we can be compassionate and merciful without judging or condemning.  Let’s remember that our respect and love for human life is at the very core of the love God has called us to live.  Finally, let’s remember, if we are going to love anyone at all, it means we will love a sinner.

Jesus said:  “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do as I command?”  Let’s commit to making permanent changes in our lives so Jesus can finally say:  “Thank you for calling me Lord, Lord and doing as I have commanded.”

Mike is a writer and teacher. You can contact him at: www.mikevanvrankenministries.org or write him at: Mike Van Vranken, 523 Loch Ridge Drive, Shreveport, LA  71106.

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