“If a…relationship with God could come by rule-keeping…Christ died unnecessarily.” Gal 2:21 TM
While grace doesn’t give anyone a license to live as they please, the judgmentalism that comes from insisting that others live by our standards has caused untold damage. Chuck Swindoll writes: “Legalism spreads a paralyzing venom…blinds our eyes, dulls our edge and arouses pride in our heart…love is overshadowed by a mental clipboard with a long checklist requiring others to measure up…soon friendship is fractured by a judgmental attitude and a critical look. And before you conclude that you’re not guilty, observe your reaction when you meet another believer who doesn’t think, act, or dress the way you do. Even when you think you’re sophisticated enough to disguise your real feelings, they come out in the ‘stony stare’ and the ‘holier than thou’ attitude.” Jesus said, “Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you” (Lk 6:37 CEV). A judgmental Christian acts as though blowing someone else’s light out will cause their light to shine brighter. But it’s not so. Paul writes, “If a…relationship with God could come by rule-keeping…Christ died unnecessarily.” You say, “But what if someone is getting off track, or sinning intentionally?” The Bible says, “If another believer is overcome by sin…humbly help that person back onto the right path…be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself” (Gal 6:1 NLT). When you take it upon yourself to condemn others—you are denying them the same grace you may need before the day is over.