Ken Nair, founder of Life Partners Christian Ministries has taught me to look at Scripture in a new way. One of his methods is to ask the question "Why do you think that God put that in Scripture?" Many times the answer is because God knows what my natural predispositions are and wants to directly confront them.
My natural tendency is to judge. I'm naturally quick to condemn. I've come to realize that most of the time, when I judge, I do so in ignorance. I don't have access to all of the facts, so I'm counting on hearsay. I don't know all the circumstances. I'm relying on circumstantial evidence. I'm letting my own prejudices influence my decision to judge.
By contrast, Christ does not judge. He said, "...I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world." John 12:47 (underline mine)
It has been an epiphany to me to think that if I am to pursue Christlikeness, I must do less judging and more saving. Now, don't get me wrong. I know that I have no ability to "save" the world. We are not Christ. But, we are to pursue being like Him. So, the very idea that my thoughts, words and actions should be purposefully torn from my natural tendency to judge and redirected towards saving has been life changing.
It's always interesting to describe how one puts ideas into action. When I talk about "save," I think it's important to know what I mean and can be explained partly by definitions for "save." Some synonyms for "save" include "salvage," meaning to keep from destruction or harm, "spare," meaning to refrain from harming, "economize," meaning to avoid waste. Some phrases that describe "save" include "to make unnecessary the expenditure of effort," and "accumulate for future use," and (an interesting sports reference) "to keep the opposition from scoring."
So, if I tend to my spirit in such a way that my thoughts, words and actions are concentrated on doing no spiritual harm, conserving spiritual energy and gently encouraging others to avoid self-destruction, I'm no longer prone to judge. I'm keeping the "opposition from scoring."
Who am I most prone to judge? My wife and those closest to me, my children. God help me to save them from my judgement!
Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim