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It is an age old complaint. Too many times I have talked to dear friends and one of their many reasons for leaving a church or for just not attending is that the people there are just too judgmental. If we are completely honest we would have to admit that all of our relationships have a bit of of a judgmental undertone to them . Yet, we all know that in all of our relationships that judgement has no place in them at all.
So, what is it about judgment within the Church that makes us so ready to run for the hills? Maybe it is the fact that we all know that every member within the church has skeletons in their closet or it could be that frankly we are so judgmental of other members because we see some of the same traits that they display in ourselves. I tend to lead toward the jealousy angle but that is for a whole other post.
The fact still remains we has Christians seem to constantly be tearing each other apart. Causing other members to feel uncomfortable to be around other members at church which leads to them not volunteering to help in different areas and it also causes them to simply stop coming to church all the while labeling themselves and church as unworthy.
My husband works a lot on the weekends. It is not our ideal situation but well it happens and in this economy you work when your employer wants you to work. Anyway, while we were struggling to find a home church I would continue the search with just the kids and I. Most churches were super sweet and very open. Then there was that one church. My 4 kids and I walked into said church, sat into our seats and I began situating everyone making sure no one was sitting with someone who would get them into trouble. That is when I heard it…….”She has four kids and no husband”…..”Doesn’t she know what causes that?”….. Now it is safe to say that maybe they were not talking about me. It is also safe to say that well the fact that my husband was not in attendance with us could have raised more than one eyebrow. However, those two things caused me to no longer feel comfortable there in that church. My children and I actually packed up our things and went home before church services ever began. I will also state that we never went back to said church despite their reputation in our community.
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?
~ Romans 2:1-3
The way we as a Church treat members and visitors can make or cripple the Church as a whole. It is not our place to judge a person or a family harshly. It is our place, however, to extend a place for all to feel comfortable to worship the Lord in. This is what the purpose of the church is after all. It was and is meant to be a place to gain spiritual nourishment, a place to form bonds between fellow believers and a shelter from a world who tries to break us down.
The fear of being judged by our fellow peers causes us to clam up. We no longer want to share our testimony with members of the church, we no longer want to share what is happening in our lives and we begin to live our lives in secret. Starting to live in this mindset causes us to become a prisoner to the very things that our fellow Christians should be able to help to encourage us.
Now I am not saying that we should never help call attention to stumbling blocks in our fellow church members lives. However I am saying that there is a right and a wrong way to do so. Calling out one in a judgmental tone would be the wrong way. Expressing love and concern would be the right way. If you are unsure exactly how to do that I have actually written a post on that earlier in this series.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. ~Galatians 6:1
There is no place for judgement in the Church. After all we are all sinners saved by grace. None of our sins are greater then another persons sin. Sin is in fact still sin. Instead of judging each other lets instead try to encourage each other.
Until Next Time Just Keep Soaring 4 Him,