Let me say that I am not in any way suggesting that anyone should be judging anyone except for God. In fact, any judgmental person is a hypocrite. Unless, of course, they are perfect. Not likely. I am suggesting that people NEED accountable relationships ( See my entry: Count the Cost) . The idea that we use blanket statements like “God knows my heart” to cover our indiscretions is troubling. It also begs the question: “How accountable should we other other Christians? If we refer to ourselves as the body of Christ, that means that what one of us does affects how all of us are perceived. With the exception of one of us curing cancer, that’s usually not good. If one of us, for example, has a drinking problem, it doesn't mean we need to stage a church-wide intervention. It means, that someone, a friend of the afflicted, perhaps, needs to lovingly intervene and see what can be done to help them instead of letting them slip off into a a dark future. If you reject help. So be it. But if you are a friend of mine, being left completely along, on the brink of what appears (from my point of view) to be poor choice, is not an option. Not because I'm always right, but because you are my friend.
Let me turn the tables for a minute on those who make being in an accountable relationship, absolutely drudgery. Unfortunately, I'm speaking very specifically to some of my Christian brothers and sisters. Many of you are ready to judge your friends at the drop of a hat. If not with your words then by your look of disdain or the shift in the way that you treat them? If you find yourself doing this, ask yourself the following questions: Who are your convictions really for? You or the person next to you? Do you use them to uphold a certain standard of living? Or to make sure that other people are? Let's face it, most of us only judge to make ourselves feel better about our own indiscretions. To ensure that we remain on the pedestal of righteous morality. I call it, the Dichotomy of Indiscretion: The degree to which you feel bad about what you've done, it the degree to which I feel better. We we open our minds, we realize that people have a different way of dressing (actually feel comfortable showing their ankles and collar bone and maybe a little more); a boyfriend to whom they don't mind showing affection (Ooooo. Scandalous). PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT STANDARDS of living. Nothing excuses recklessness. But before you cast someone into the sea of wretchedness remember that YOU have been forgiven....time after time and only to the degree that you forgive others.
And just when I was looking to put a bow on the subject, Damian Boyd preached an awesome sermon about GRACE, which covers each and everyone of us, even the "WRETCHED". We are, as he says, "trophies of God's grace". Confused. Read the book of Ephesians: The Story of God's grace.
Yes, it's true. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE YOU. But if you know what I know, you wouldn't and shouldn't want to wait until then.