Dublin First United Methodist Church
Monday, April 22, 2019
To reach, teach and serve others in the name and love of Jesus Christ

Media

 

Tyler’s Take

Mother Teresa once famously said: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  This statement is true in so many ways, because when we judge others, we can never truly love them in the way that God intends.  Judgment is, therefore, the opposite of the attitude and actions that Jesus desires to see in us, as a judgmental heart is not a loving heart.  The judgmental heart is full of arrogance, bitterness and pride and these ungodly attitudes become the motivation for hurtful actions.  The loving heart, on the other hand, is full of humility, joy and mercy that bring forth gracious behaviors that mimic those of Jesus Christ.

 

With this being said, we must accept that we cannot be both loving and judgmental.  These are polar opposite attitudes that elicit far different actions and Jesus calls us to understand that love is to be the calling card of a Christian; not judgment and condemnation.  We see this well in our reading for today from the Sermon on the Plain where Jesus very clearly states: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).  In these famous words, Jesus unequivocally explains His position on this matter and what He expects of us, as His faithful followers.

Jesus takes this strong position surely because He knows that judgment leads us far from a place where we can love one another, as judgment only leads to condemnation and criticism of that which we do not fully understand.  This reminds me of a familiar situation found in communities all across our Nation:

A supermarket checkout woman in America once wrote to an advice-columnist to complain that she had seen people buy "luxury" food items—like expensive birthday cakes and bags of prawns—with their food stamps. The writer went on to say that she thought all those people on welfare who treated themselves to such non-necessities were "lazy and wasteful."

A few weeks later the columnist devoted an entire column to people who had responded to the checkout woman’s words. One woman wrote:

“I didn’t buy a cake, but I did buy a big bag of prawns with food stamps. My husband had been working at a plant for fifteen years when it shut down. The prawn casserole I made was for our wedding anniversary dinner and lasted us three days. Perhaps the supermarket attendant who criticized that woman would have a different view of life after walking a mile in my shoes.”

Another woman wrote:

“I’m the woman who bought the $17 cake and paid for it with food stamps. I thought the checkout woman in the store would burn a hole through me with her eyes. What she didn’t know is the cake was for my little girl’s birthday. It will be her last. She has bone cancer and will probably be gone within six to eight months.”

As Mother Teresa said: “If you judge someone, you have no room to love them.”  Let us therefore remember that we should never judge others by condemning their behaviors.  We should instead seek to understand them and love them as Jesus asks of us and do so knowing that we who who are fortunate have no room to condemn those whom we deem less fortunate.  When we do this, we begin to “Play God” and God will only accept this for so long before He begins to judge US as we have seen fit to judge OTHERS.