Have you ever approached an employee of a store for help and had them respond with something like, “Sorry, this is not my department”. Or have you ever had someone come up to you at work and say, “Can you help me with this?” Knowing that what they are asking of you does not fit your job description, what do you think your response would most likely be? For many of us it would probably go something like this, “I’m sorry, I’m not qualified in this area, let me find someone who can help you”.
The kingdom of God is not much different. In some cases we’re all called and equipped to do many of the same things and then there are some “roles” that we are not qualified for. Let’s take a moment to address the role of a “Judge” In the kingdom of God WHO is qualified? Hebrews 11:23 says that God is the “…judge of all“. Also Romans 2:16 says, “And this is the message I proclaim that the day is coming when God through Christ Jesus will judge everyone’s secret life”
In my thirty plus years as a Christian and nearly 11 of those years as a pastor, I have many times found myself trying to fit into God’s shoes! It is very easy for us to “see” others faults and mistakes, and for some reason we think we have the “right” to judge them. On the contrary! Jesus himself is very clear in his teachings, particularly in Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and you will not be judged, condemn not, and you will not be condemned, FORGIVE and you shall be forgiven”
Just recently while I found myself feeling the need to fulfill God’s role in the area of judging others, this thought came to me loud and clear: “That’s not my job!” It was then that I realized I do not need to waste my time playing out a role that is not mine! That would be like a police officer walking into a courtroom acting as if he was a lawyer. Or a dentist thinking he or she is qualified to perform brain surgery. As Christians, we need to be aware of what OUR job description is. If we are not to be the judge of others, then what are we required to do? Remember what Jesus said in Luke 6:37? We are not to judge or condemn others, BUT we are to FORGIVE. Jesus teaches all throughout the scriptures the importance of Love. He encourages us to “Love others” as he has “Loved us” John 15:12, 13. The scriptures also say that “Love COVERS a multitude of sins” It also says to Love others without conditions. As Christians, followers of Jesus, our job description is simply to Love. Why? God IS Love, and because we belong to him we have his life, his nature, his Spirit in us. In fact the Bible says that the “Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” As you can see our job description is very clear as the people of God and that is to Love and Forgive others and not judge.
Another great example is the prodigal son and his older brother. Here you have a story of a two brothers, both were given an inheritance and one day one of the sons came to his father and asked for his half and when he received it he went and spent it all on wild living. Once his wealth was all gone, he found himself having to eat pig food. He then realized that he had made a huge mistake and decided to go home to his father. He thought he would no longer be worthy so he was willing to go and be a hired servant. Well, his father was so full of compassion, he saw his son returning and welcomed him with open arms. He decided to throw a big party for the safe return of his son. When the older brother heard what was going on he was so upset and would not attend the party. The father came out to talk with him and his son said, “I’ve served you and have done nothing wrong and you never threw a party for me and my friends” His fathers reply was this: “You know that everything I have is yours. Your brother was lost and now he is found, he was dead and now he lives” Luke 15:11-32. The older brother is a perfect example of how judgemental people can be. We witness the mistakes of others and many times we think we have the right to be their judge. The scriptures say that when we “judge” we are guilty of the same things. We must remember the importance of mercy and grace. The Bible says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and that the only way we can escape the judgement of God is through Jesus Christ who went to the cross to die for the sins/mistakes of all mankind and when we receive the Fathers forgiveness, we are required to forgive others, if we do not, Jesus says in Mark 11 “…neither will your Father in heaven forgive your sins”. If you are struggling with judging others such as a friend or family member, ask the Lord to help you to forgive them. One way that works for me is I am reminded that I’ve been forgiven of so many things because of God’s rich mercy and grace through His son Jesus Christ, that I must forgive others if I want my sins forgiven, and it works every time!
The next time you feel the need to do God’s job and make yourself a judge, think again and say to yourself, (out loud if you have to) “My job is not to judge, but to be merciful as I have received mercy!”