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I know it may come as a surprise to some people that know me, but I DO sin. I usually try not to, but I sometimes fail. I don’t like for other people to know that I’m not perfect, so sometimes I try to hide my failures. But it’s still true, I sin. And God hates MY sin. (Of course, that means He hates your sin, too, but that’s another story for another day.)

God is holy and perfect. That means sin has no place around him. Psalm 5:4 says it this way, “For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot lodge with You.” If that’s not scary enough for you, try verse 5: “The boastful cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all evildoers.“

It’s popular lately to say we aren’t supposed to judge other people. I totally disagree with that sentiment and I’m going to tell you why I think YOU should “judge” ME. Before I get into what the Bible says, let me give you an illustration. I love backpacking and hiking in the woods. Let’s say that one day you and I are hiking down a trail in a wilderness area somewhere. I’m leading down the trail and you know that there is a pit of quicksand shortly up the trail. Should you tell me that danger lies ahead or let me find out on my own? It’s not “judgmental” to tell me I’m headed for danger. I sincerely believe that the loving thing to do would be to tell me so I can correct my path and save my life. Some folks like to call this kind of correction “hate”, but it’s really the opposite of hate.

Let me throw a few Proverbs at you to show why I think this way. Proverbs 15:5 says, “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but a person who heeds correction is sensible.” Proverbs 13:18 tells us, “Poverty and disgrace come to those who ignore instruction, the the one who accepts rebuke will be honored.” One more. Proverbs 15:31-32 says, “An ear that listens to live-giving rebukes will be at home among the wise. Anyone who ignores instruction despises himself, but whoever listens to correction acquires good sense.”

I think I would rather be corrected and be “sensible”, “honored”, and “wise” than to be left alone and be a “fool” in my “poverty and disgrace”.

Some will say, “The Old Testament wisdom literature is great, but didn’t Jesus tell us not to judge?”

Please allow me a moment and I’ll try to work through the layers of that onion.

For the first layer, let me say that Jesus DID say that. In case you’re wondering, it was in what we call the Sermon on the Mount and is in Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged.” What people don’t like to include in that is what he said only four verses later: “First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” He didn’t say that you can’t tell me I’m wrong. He said to be sure you’re ok and THEN tell me that I’m wrong.

Let me take on another layer and remind you that Jesus COMMANDED you to tell me when I sin. Look at what he said in Luke 17:3, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.”

Folks also like to use the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery when they talk about this. You can find it in the 8th chapter of John. Jesus did, indeed, say, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” People like to quote that part and then stop. What they like to leave out is that Jesus was talking about PUNISHING the sinner, not POINTING OUT the sin (verse 5). They also like to leave out that after they left, Jesus told the woman, “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

Jesus agreed with the crowd that she was a sinner. I would also like to point out that the very next verse (John 8:12), says, “Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’” Jesus is telling us to follow Him and walk in the light of life, not in the darkness of sin!

The words of Jesus really are enough, but let me throw in a couple of things from Paul’s writings, too.

In Galatians 6:1, Paul wrote, “Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted also.”

He wrote in 2 Thessalonians 3:14, “And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don’t associate with him, so that he may be ashamed.” The idea again is to bring us out of walking in the darknes of sin and into the light of life.

First Corinthians chapter 5 is ALL about correcting sinners within the Church (that’s the body of believers, not the building).

I saw a comment on a news story where this guy said that more Christians should read the Bible, especially the part in the Ten Commandments where it says not to judge others. IT’S NOT IN THERE!

Yes, we should read the Bible and know what it says. And we should apply it to our lives. That includes you setting me straight when I sin. You should always have as a goal to help me walk in the light of life.
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