Between Lance Armstrong’s cheating scandal, Manti T’eo’s fake girlfriend, Ray Lewis’ past murder trial, our recent presidential election, inauguration and the tragic shootings as well as the many issues that surround our country currently, it is clear our country is fighting not simply one, but many different wars on many different fronts.
The nature of American ingenuity tends to be that someone can always build a better mousetrap. The great news for our country is that so many of us truly care and are passionate about our beliefs and values. One of the issues that this ingenuity brings, however, is judgment or perceived judgement. When you try to fix something, there are several groups: those who think your way is poor and is purely driven out of hate for the opposing group, those who don’t see any need for change at all, the apathetic who will accept whatever change is placed upon them, and those who believe they can “fix it better.” In nearly all of these situations, and in our current cultures issues I have noted that people begin to get upset for people “judging” one another. “Don’t judge other because they sin differently than you.” Or “Judgement is God’s and you aren’t God.”
Let me make one point very clear. There is a difference between judging someone and accountability. Some of you may not believe in Christian doctrine, but I invite you follow this line of thinking and understand the principle behind the examples I am about to use.
In the Bible, Jesus says,”Do not judge or you too will be judged.” In Matthew 7:1
His point? You have three fingers pointing back at you. He repeats this concept when the Pharisees are calling to stone a prostitute to death. He says,”He without sin cast the first stone.” John 8:7
However, I would like you to see the He points something out. What she has done is sin. Although he admits she is in sin, He does not see it as the place of these men to humiliate her. She needed discipline and accountability, not judgement and public shame. He follows it up by telling her, “Go and sin no more.”
Let’s take another example. If I am overweight and am trying to lose weight, would it be more helpful to have a friend consistently call me out for my obesity and call me a slob all the time or would it make sense that the person recognize and be honest with me that my weight is an issue, and offer their time, knowledge or encouragement to help me?
The point is that people are guilty of crimes, wrongdoing, sin and we are required to hold them accountable, myself included. For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. If Lance Armstrong is guilty, he must serve the sentence. If Ray Lewis had been convicted of murder, he must pay the penalty. So on and so forth. Let me make another thing very clear. Discipline is GOOD. Embrace it because it makes us better as individuals, as a society, as a people. How can we learn if we think nothing is wrong? I simply pray that we understand right from wrong and I pray that we sharpen one another by holding each other accountable, rather than tearing each other down through a personal judgement.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.