When questioned by a follower of Christ, people who love their immorality seem always to respond with the crème de la crème of rebuttals: “Christians aren’t supposed to judge!” Never mind they have no earthly idea what they are talking about, or where they get that phrase; with an ironically self-righteous sense of pride they just sneer and boldly showcase their biblical expertise (or lack thereof) in an effort to justify their actions.
But sadly and tragically, many Christians (if not most) barely understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). It had nothing to do with reproving the “unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11); it had everything to do with not expecting to be judged with any less of a judgement than one meets out.
It’s a shame when unbelievers who know so little about Jesus are able to use Him as an excuse and intimidate Christians into silence, but it happens every day.
But what’s worse is when we Christians REALLY do what we’re accused of (i.e., make assumptions from which we cast judgment). It happens all the time when, for example, we see a man on the side of the road with a sign that reads, “Will work for food,” and we assume he’s either too lazy to work, an alcoholic or drug addict, or looking for a way to scam somebody.
It happens when a woman walks up to our car and taps on the window, only to ask if we have some spare change, and then we assume she’s either dangerous or unwilling to get a job.
Who are we to say that what they tell us is a lie or a scam? Is it just possible that they really do need money for a fan belt, a gallon of milk, or a bus ticket home? Is it possible that the poor man and his wife on the side of the road really did get kicked out of their house and have no place to stay but their car?
Or, is it just possible that the scruffy-looking, unkempt fellow you’re afraid to talk to is, in actuality, a heavenly messenger? An angel?
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. – Hebrews 13:2
Even though the jobless rate in America these days is at record lows, it is still possible the “bum” on the side of the road is actually somebody whose homeless. Who knows for what reason he/she is there? Are we to pass judgment upon them? Maybe we should just love them and do what we can to help when we are confronted – or before.
In one of the same chapters that talk about not judging another unjustly are found the following verses:
Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do for others as you would like them to do for you. – Luke 6:30-31 NLT
By not giving that dollar or two to the one who asks, are we not, in actuality, disobeying a direct command of Jesus? Is it possible we are committing two sins? One would be that we did not give when asked; the other that we judged them unworthy.
It would seem to me that the better part of wisdom – not to mention a display of our faith in action – to entertain the “stranger” rather than judge him.
Who knows? He might be taking notes for his Boss…in Heaven.