Recently there was an incident at a Spur steakhouse where a white man threatened a black woman because their children had a fight in the play area. According to a large sector of the white community at large the incident wasn’t handled correctly by the management of Spur and they decided to boycott the restaurant. Instead of a matter of general decent manners it has been turned into a race issue. I have seen the slogan ‘Spur must fall’! I am not even going to try to debate who was right and who was wrong. It really doesn’t matter because if we are going to fall into the trap of judging every incident as right or wrong we are going to make ourselves very unhappy.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). It is so easy to influence and manipulate people by what you say. You justify actions, you do the guilt trip thing, you do whatever it takes to make people do what you think you are justified in doing. Before you know it you have a large following and you are acting like a politician. So what are the implications if Spur does fall? A whole lot of people lose their jobs and maybe some families don’t have any employed members anymore and maybe crime escalates. But you are justified in what you are doing so you don’t care.
What would Jesus have done if someone had taken the Spur incident and all it repercussions and put it before Him? Would he have judged right and wrong? Or would He have said what he said to the woman caught in adultery – “Go and sin no more.” He said that the one without sin should pick up the first stone. Which one of us is without sin?
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well He knew that she was living with a man she wasn’t married to. “for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband;” Jesus never told her that she was bad and that it was wrong to live with a man if you aren’t married to him. He never condemned her actions at all.
What about Zaccheus? (Luke 10:1-10) He was the chief tax collector at Jericho and he stole money from people by demanding more taxes than were rightfully payable. He was working for the government and cheating people. Does that sound familiar? Well, Jesus didn’t sit him down and tell him how bad he was, and neither did he ignore him or make him understand that he would not associate with a criminal. Jesus had dinner at Zaccheus’ house! By loving him, Jesus caused him to realize his wicked ways. He repented and paid back everything he had stolen and more.
Then, of course there was Mary, who poured out a jar of expensive perfume over the feet of Jesus. His disciples were indignant because Mary was a woman of ill repute. (John 12:1 – 8) Jesus never condemned Mary for being a prostitute.
Looking at all these incidents which had judgement potential I am seeing a pattern. I am seeing that Jesus never condemned people. He loved them. And because He loved them they changed. Are we able to do the same? Is it really necessary to incite people over social media to join your negative protest? Jesus says in Matthew 7:1 – 2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
I would hate to be judged on the sins I commit. Can you imagine? Every thought and every word – I shudder to think. What did Jesus die on the cross for then? A few years back everyone was wearing those bands that said WWJD? Well, What Would Jesus Do? Would he condemn our actions or would He love us?