A Different Perspective

Who’s on the Lord’s side?

Are you my brother or my enemy? These days it is hard to tell! So many profess the same faith, but their actions are as diverse from yours as the many colours of the rainbow. It is hard to know who is really sincere, who’s right and who’s wrong. Can we really know who is on the Lord’s side?

It is important for us to know who’s a true believer and who’s a traitor, because the Bible tells us that “iron sharpens iron”, and that if we walk with fools, we will share their fate (Proverbs 1:10-19). So, while we consider ourselves sincere, we may have a hard time trusting other professing Christians around us, especially when their actions or words don’t line up with our expectations.

While the Bible is clear that we have to discern the Truth, and stay away from evil doers, we are also commanded not to judge. But how can you discern right from wrong and saints from sinners, if you don’t exercise judgment? And if some level of judgment is permissible, when do you know when you’ve crossed the line into the critical level of judgment?

Many people who are confused about this apparent double standard prefer to switch off their guage, and assume the best in everyone. They don’t judge period! If you say you’re Christian, and you do what you like (whether it’s right or not), then it’s probably because of the level you are on the spiritual ladder. You’re probably not as mature as they are. The basis here is that everyone has their own walk with God, so don’t judge your brother/sister. Romans 14:10-13 seems to support this approach.

But there are still others who judge everything and everyone according to their own standard. If it doesn’t fit in with their reasoning and revelation from God, then it is suspect. These can only fellowship with people who agree wholly with them, because the slightest difference may imply that the other may not be submitting to the Truth as they know it. For fear of their own sanity and righteousness, the ‘backslider’ is shunned. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 seems to support this approach.

However, both approaches are dangerous. The first is dangerous because when we neglect to correct our brothers and sisters in error, we are not really loving them and showing concern for their salvation (Jude 23). They say that the only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for the righteous to do nothing.

The second approach is also dangerous because it doesn’t show compassion on the weak, or empathy as one who also suffers weakness. Rather than take time to persuade, judgment is passed, and the weak are lost, when they could have been preserved with a more loving approach (Jude 22).

I have practiced both approaches, and still struggle to find a balance. One thing that helps me to keep a right perspective is what Jesus said on this matter of judgment. In Matthew 7, verses 1 to 5, Jesus said:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the beam in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s eye“.

I used to be very perplexed about these verses, but then God opened my eyes to them.  The speck in your brother’s eye is the DIFFERENCE between you and him! Very minute and almost negligible!  The beam in your eye is the difference between you and God! Extremely humongous and not at all negligible!  Jesus is saying what is really important and necessary is for you to first get as righteous as God, then you’ll be in a better position to judge your brother and ‘save’ him!

Jesus isn’t saying that we cannot judge (John 7:24), but that the judgments we make when we are so far from perfect ourselves will be grossly in error, and that we also do detriment to ourselves, because we think we are better than we are. Consider also that if we were as righteous as God, then we would also be as gracious when it comes to passing judgment. But when we pass judgment without grace, we will receive the same judgment from God – without grace.

So, I guess I still haven’t answered my question – who’s on the Lord’s side? I don’t believe we will ever really know until we make it to Heaven. Jesus said that many will be shocked to see people they rejected as faithless in Heaven, while those who were esteemed as righteous, cast out.

So I try not to judge people, because I have a long way to go myself. What I do is speak the Truth as it is revealed to me, whether or not I am practicing it fully myself, and hope that it will not only change me, but also those who listen.

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6 replies »

  1. Very True as you shared Ufuoma if we are to correct, rebuke and warn others who are in error or who sin without repentance in the Church, we need to judge that they are and we do so in Love and for Love as you said, it is not Love to look the other way when a Christian sins, or they teach error, they are giving Satan an opportunity to have a foothold in their lives and others.

    But we are not to judge others Carnally and by our own agenda or judge their Eternal Destiny, only God knows their heart and they may come to repentance on their deathbed by the good seeds that have been planted throughout their lives.

    Not meaning sin, we are also not to critically judge others weaknesses and shortcomings, we all have these and I’m sure I have more than most or so I’m told, at least behind my back by those who have none! instead we need to take the plank out of our own eyes meaning see our own limitations first, yes it’s true with a plank in our eye we are almost blind to our own faults. When we have resolved our own we can help others with theirs or we accept them both in ourselves and in others if they can’t be corrected, which is something I have had to accept about my own disabilities and limitations especially with being Bulimic, I may never be the greatest writer in the World but I can share God’s Truth as He leads me .

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne


  2. Not really Ufuoma I get words mixed up often, although I was bulimic for 10 years on and off when I was much younger, what I meant to say was that I’m Dyslectic and remembering and recognizing words when I’m tied is not easy for me , so sorry and thank you for your kind thoughts.

    Blessings – Anne.


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