To judge something is to discern its purpose.
Judging is a process of separation like God making the divisions of creation like light from darkness. He was determining its function. It is what God meant when speaking to Aaron about the role of the priesthood, “You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean” (Leviticus 10:10).
When Jesus was on the cross, when the human race did the unthinkable and killed Jesus, He said, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” This is an act of judgment because it repurposes enemies as “forgiven ones.”
Our first Christian martyr made a similar call: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). This was his bold and dying breath. In this we have two powerful examples of a primary judgment. You speak the most important and true things when you are dying. Both Jesus and Stephen forgave those who murdered them. This is a process of separating someone from their action, choosing to see them in a redemptive light.
The massive thing Jesus’ cross does for us is separate us from our sin. “Father forgive them” is a purpose of God over the human race.
Are you able to take this into your conversations about politics, social life and economics today? Remind yourself that the person you are communicating with was forgiven by Jesus. This ultimately redefines them and makes them valuable, regardless of whether you like them or not and whether you feel their choices are wrong or right.
My 30-day guide – Love Your Enemy is really helpful for growing in this. I challenge you to see if you have enough faith in God and boldness in the Holy Spirit to try judging people with a positive lens before you use a negative one.
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