“Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.” (Unvirtuous Abbey – from a recent post on the blog Jack’s Winning Words.
Jack went on to write – I “see” sin as failing to love and respect others, yourself and your God. You figure out what that means.
It is open season on judging the sins of others during this “silly season” of presidential politics. Both presidential candidates, and indeed most candidates for any office at all levels, tend to resort to mudslinging against their opponents, rather than focus upon what they would do if elected. The game seems to be trying to make the opponent seem like the worse choice because they have sinned differently than you. Our country has a rich history of this type of behavior, going back to the founding fathers. These days the mud being slung is not about getting in bed with slaves, but getting in bed with wealthy donors and selling out votes on issues (although there is still a lot of bedroom or locker room talk). Focus on the right things.
In our own daily lives we have ample opportunities to judge someone else because they are different from us. It may or may not be about any sins that they commit differently from us. Perhaps it is just what color or race or religion or sexual orientation they may have been born to or adopted. Perhaps it is how they choose to dress or to act. Maybe it is how they talk or what they have to say that we find offensive because it is different from our notion of things. Whatever it is we find offensive or sinful, it is likely because it is different from us. We let those differences become the focus of our relationship with them. Focus on the right things.
Jack’s reference to loving and respecting other, yourself and your God is based upon the Two Great Commandments – Jesus said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. A part of showing love is showing respect. Loving and respecting others means not judging them because they sin differently than you. Focus on the right things.
If you must judge someone, buy a hand mirror and hold it up in front of you. Get the person that you see in that mirror straightened out before you worry about the actions, beliefs or sins of others. I suspect that, if you focus on following the two great commandments, you will find that your concerns about the sins of others will fade away and hopefully your own sins fade, too. Focus on the right things.
Perhaps we all could use the advice that the Bellamy Brothers put into their song Lord, help me be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am. Dogs don’t worry about the sins of others. Dogs don’t judge and give unconditional love. Perhaps we could learn from our dogs and focus on the right things.
Have a great and non-judgmental day.