“Fruit inspectors,” a title I was introduced to here recently. A topic of conversation that sent me on another scripture digging expedition.
“Your fruit isn’t showing that you love God.” “Do you really love Jesus?” “As Christians we are to tell others if their fruit is rotten.” “Do you have a spirit of discernment? I can walk into a room and determine who is saved.”
Just a few of the “statements” that sent me on my quest. Gotta say my head hurts from all the reading and different interpretations of the scripture. I have come to my own conclusion. Disclaimer: I’m no theologian. I’m no preacher. I’m just a girl trying to do right by her Savior.
Accountability Versus Judgment:
A loving heart will deliver accountability. A prideful heart will deliver judgment. In order to determine if someone is holding you accountable or judging you, you in turn have to judge their intention. It’s kind of a catch-twenty-two is it not? What a tangled web!
I have been on the receiving end of both the loving heart actions as well as what I deem as the prideful heart actions, just as many of you have. Judgement gets my dander up. It sends me into spiteful mode. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Being held accountable sucks but if handled lovingly, my feathers will be ruffled but they will eventually lay back down.
Being presented with the above-mentioned ways of thinking was a good thing. I have done much soul searching and self reflection. Do I possess and demonstrate a prideful heart or a loving heart.
My stance regarding judging others based on their fruit is simple. I don’t. Why? Because I’ve got a crap ton of pruning to do to my own tree before I am in a position to start whacking away at someone else’s. If a person is distributing the “holier than thous” I’m willing to bet ya they have got some pruning of their own to do.
The scriptures address superficial judgment, hypocritical judgment, harsh judgment, untrue judgment and self-righteous judgement. I had no idea there were so many ways to judge others.
The elephant in the room is the judgy Christian and not I’m not afraid to walk right up to it and punch it in the trunk. If you spend any time talking to a nonbeliever their number one complaint is the judgmental character of those who contend to be Christians.
Good ‘ole contending Christians will counter with “that answer is the easy way out.” “It’s a cop-out.” “I’m more mature in my faith than you are.” Yep, those are real quotes.
B.S. and more b.s.! There is absolute validity in their observation. It’s the dadgum truth.
Judging others, whether they are believers or not has GOT to please Satan. If we spend all of our time pointing out the flaws of others, we are blinded to the crap in our lives that needs to be dealt with.
Judging leaves no room for grace. Grace is an action that I am actively working on. It’s not easy. It sucks because it is easier to give it to some than others. How pitiful am I? Pretty dadgum pitiful and I own it. Those of us who struggle with accepting that God gives grace freely when we don’t deserve it, which is always, will struggle with giving grace to others. Learning to accept His grace so I can in turn give others grace is part of the sanctification process, is it not? It’s important to acknowledge sanctification as an ongoing process. If we are focusing on our “process” we shouldn’t have time to be interfering in the sanctification process of others.
Think about the newbie Christians or those of us who struggle with their walk? You really think a judgmental, looking down your nose, pointing out flaws approach is going to help anyone grow bolder in their faith?
One day, I will answer to God for all of the crap that I’ve done. That day is going to suck. I have screwed up so much. I own it. Do I really need a sanctimonious spouter of holier than thous pointing out my failures and transgressions? Do I need to be pointing out others failures and transgressions? Nope and nope.
Opposing sin is biblical. BUT shouldn’t it be dealt with in a loving manner. Again, better check yourself before you go opposin’ someone else’s sins. Them are some prideful waters to be treadin’ in. We are called to defend the scriptures. Again, be careful. if you are pickin’, choosin’ and twistin’, them are some dangerous waters also.
I spent yesterday facing my own demons while I sat next to my mother. It was very easy to focus on her lack of faith and joy. I had to step back, breathe and take the plank out of my eye. Talk about freaking painful. It’s that sanctification process I was talking about earlier. I can guarantee you that NO PERSON convinced me to go see her by spouting sanctimonious crap. NO PERSON twistin’ scripture got me there. My people praying is what got me there. Me praying is what got me there. GOD is what got me there.
I have a stubborn streak. I’ll admit it. When the sanctimonious crowd comes at me, I will do the exact opposite. Pretty immature but reality nonetheless. Remember this scenario next time you start spouting holier than thous.
Instead of judging others and coming at them with a prideful heart, why don’t we just pray for them? Turn them over to God. Are we so self righteous that we think we can do it better than God? Just something to think about.
I’m working on me. That is all that I can do. Striving to do better. Bottom line, I’m going to focus on pruning my own rottenness.