In the Bible two “Commandments” are mentioned by Jesus as being the most important. I put quotation marks around commandments because one is not one of the Ten Commandments, but a commandment nevertheless.
These two are found in Mark 12: 30-31. They are found in other Gospels also. “…and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all you mind, and with all your strength. The second is this. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
God wants us to know that there is a commandment that is right up with those two. Why? Because by not following this commandment, multiple groups use religion as an excuse to judge, condemn, and in many cases from the past, destroy. This commandment is “Thou shalt not judge”! It’s very important that we start really paying attention to it.
Jesus gives a sermon and it is named, “Sermon on the Mount”. This is where Christ makes it very clear that we are not to judge others. In Matthew 7, it is written: “Judge not, that you be judged….Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Jesus uses an incident in the temple to teach a lesson about not judging a women caught in the act of adultery. A group of Pharisees brings the woman to Jesus. The tell him about the woman and reminds him that according to Moses the woman should be stoned to death. They ask Jesus, “What do you say about her?” Jesus writes in the dirt twice while trying to ignore them. He finally says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Not one person says he can throw a stone. They all slowly leave. Finally, Christ asks, “Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one Lord.”And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.” That is a very powerful lesson. Jesus does not use the word judge. He uses an even more powerful word. He will not condemn this woman.
Please READ ROMANS STARTING AT 14. This section is full of information that tells me that we should not be judging someone’s religion.
There is a section in Luke. Luke 6: 37-8. “Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given you….” Romans has a lot on not judging and even touches on how we are not to judge someone based on their religious views. Romans, starting at 14 “As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables.” Were Christ telling this it would be a parable. Eating everything and eating just vegetables can stand for any disagreement one might have with someone else’s religion. It goes on to say that God has welcomed the man weak in faith.
Romans 14: 5 goes on to say: “One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let everyone be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.” This whole section is talking about living side by side with people who have different views from you. I think it is really powerful, and I wonder why I have not seen this quoted.
Romans 14:10-13: “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ So each of us shall give account of himself to God. Then let us no more pass judgement on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
We need to keep these words in mind as we look back, and look at the present. However, these words are going to become even more important moving forward. As far as in the past – praying about how you have judged others. The present, take in these words, and promise to just do the best you can as far as not judging others. The future – We have to be so careful to not judge others in the future particularly based on not only religion but also by cultural differences.
Let me give you an example of how understanding a cultural difference makes you see someone in completely different terms. Someone might look upon a Hispanic person not working a very demanding job with long hours as not a good thing. If you know how important La familia is in the Hispanic culture then not taking on a job that takes you from your family is a very appropriate move for that person.
Praying if you want a topic – forgiveness for judging others
Praying for virus reasons – Checkers, and people in stores who are interacting with people