by Buzz Dahlen
The statement, “Our sins look so much worse when we see someone else commit them” can and should be very sobering and cause us to take another look at how much we judge others. It is sad, how easy it is to look for the failings in the lives of other. It is also sad, how easy it is to look beyond our own failings and judge the failing of others. Too often, the result is, lets get rid of those failures rather then lets help them succeed.
Jesus was faced with the challenge of what He was going to do with those who failed. In one instance, the failure was brought before Him and He was challenged to make a judgment. Here is the story: At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:2-11
We can be so quick to judge and condemn those who fail and when I use the word fail, I mean sin. Jesus put the challenge of judgment back on the hearts of those passing judgment. "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Of course, no one was righteous enough to even pick up a stone, much less throw one.
Do not get me wrong, this was not a case of Jesus choosing to not judge this woman, it was a case of Jesus choosing not to condemn her. He just was not going to let those Pharisees get away without judging their own lives first.
A little further along in John 8 Jesus says: You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. Verses 15 & 16
The truth of the matter is, none of us has any right to judge and condemn others. We do have the responsibility, though, to help when we see a brother sin. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians; Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 6:1
Jesus said this: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” John 3:16-18
Understanding all of this, then neither should we condemn anyone…