Why Do We Judge?
Rather than offer an opinion about the life-changing decision of a famous former athlete, I’d like to offer an observation on how the body of Christ handles the responses of other Christians to issues like this. Many believers have shown judgment and condemnation toward this person and the community that supports them. And of course, many others have demanded that these individuals repent of their hateful attitudes.
I side with those who prefer a response of love and compassion. And although I know we mean well, our blog posts and Facebook statuses imploring Christians to be more loving and compassionate are likely to fall on deaf ears. And it’s not because we haven’t made the right arguments from scripture, but because the ones we’re addressing don’t have ears to hear us.
Those who judge and condemn others aren’t doing so because no one has ever shown them the right bible verses or because they don’t know Jesus. Christians who judge and condemn others, do it because their hearts are full of judgment and condemnation. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. They speak judgment because their hearts are full of judgment and this is because they’ve been judged themselves and have no other way to respond. (As a recovering Pharisee, I have a personal testimony to this.) Our criticism of their attitude isn’t going to help, and might even make things worse.
The problem of judgment and condemnation isn’t a matter of educating a closed mind; it’s one of transforming a wounded heart. And until the heart is healed of the judgment and condemnation it’s suffered over a lifetime, no amount of persuasive speech will convince someone to love others unconditionally. The healing of the heart must take place first, and then it will become the good soil that can receive the seeds of love and produce the fruit of the spirit.