February 21, 2022

Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

This is Jesus preaching. Presbyterian ministers wear black robes at formal services. They represent academic garments like those worn at graduations and symbolize their study of the scriptures. I’ve watched too many Law and Order episodes, so they sometimes remind me of judges in court settings. Of course, Jesus didn’t mean we don’t have to make value decisions on what is right and wrong in personal conduct. That is part of life. But it does mean that we shouldn’t conduct our affairs like our world is a courtroom and we are sitting on the bench. We judge athletic performances on Sports-talk radio. We judge celebrity fashions on red carpet shows. We judge others based on which college they attended or which neighborhood they live in or which beach community they frequent. Judgement becomes a form of entertainment, a source of comedy, and, too often, a way of life. The standards we project out on others have a nasty habit of circling back on ourselves and have more to do with personal taste than with moral goodness. Can you discern without judging? I believe Jesus implies here that you can. How would you go about that?

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