“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”1
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?”2
Recently, I attended a night of worship where various Christian singers were present. While the worship was beautiful, there was one moment that night that impacted me more than anything else.
I had taken my daughter to the restroom, and on our way out I saw a staff member who was tidying up the restroom. I said hello and she quickly commented, “I’ve been listening to the worship songs. They are so beautiful.” She then asked if I attended a Christian church and some other general questions. About two minutes into our conversation she said, “I have been wanting to go to a church, but I am afraid.” I asked what she was afraid of, and she responded, “I know that the way I am living is wrong, and I am afraid to be turned away.” My heart sank! Here I was face to face with someone who desperately needed Jesus, and she was holding back from coming to him because she was afraid to be turned away by the people in church.
I put my arm on her shoulder and told her, “I am nobody to judge you. I have sinned in more ways than one, but God loves me and has forgiven me! He loves you too and will forgive you when you come to him. He will never turn you away! I am sorry that we (Christians) have given you that impression, but that is not who God is. He has his arms wide open for you.” We talked for a bit longer, she asked me to pray for her, and we went our separate ways.
I walked out of that restroom feeling so thankful for that “God moment”, but also feeling so saddened for the impression some churches have had on non-believers. If we are to be God’s hands and feet in this world and bring others to him, we need to be sure to model his example. Jesus does not condemn us, but instead has come to save us. John 12:46 says, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” People are ready to come to the light of Christ, but are we, as Christians, ready to welcome them with loving arms? The Bible says we have all sinned and in God’s eyes, sin is sin. We were as lost and hopeless as anyone else, even though our actions may have looked a little different. But thanks be to God for Jesus! It is only because of Him that we have hope.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, help me never forget where you have brought me from. I was lost in darkness, but you adopted me into your family through Jesus. Use me to be your hands and feet to those who need you most. That they would feel your love so tangibly through me that they cannot resist you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.