Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, don’t be persuaded.
Oscar Wilde said, “True friends stab you in the front.”
Public opinion is a hard standard to live by. Especially with access to all the social media platforms that spawn hate and fulminate expressions of outright judgment on anything and anybody. The judgments that come out of people’s hearts and mouths are, in most cases, impossible to live up to.
The double standard that is often used by these perpetual slanderers is only expected of others, but not themselves. They can point out everything that is wrong with the decisions, directions, or plans put forth by people who are trying to better other people’s lives. However, they have no concrete answers for what is the right thing to do.
It comes down to a mish-mash of sinners judging sinners from a position of self-righteousness. The scary thing about this type of judging without mercy – is that those who judge in harshness and anger, will themselves be judged with the exact standard and measuring stick they have used on others. Matt. 7:1 Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. This is why God admonishes us not to judge without mercy. Prov. 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
We have to be on our guard, because it is so easy to slip into the momentum of the crowd. With loud voices, we can get caught up with the angry mob, and in no time at all, we are shouting, “Someone should be crucified.” No saints. This is not what we have been called to do. We have been asked to discern and keep ourselves forthright in our hearts and deeds. Rom. 2:21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
One of the most hated and judged tax-collectors in the New Testament was Zacchaeus. The social media platforms of the day marked him as the number one sinner of all time. He was a Jewish man who worked the system collecting taxes for the Romans who were the oppressors of the day. Everyone had an opinion and a ready judgment on the tip of their tongue. The sinners were judging this sinner to the max and without mercy. Luke 19:7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, that He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
Jesus saw something more than a sinner. He saw a soul that could be redeemed if a kind word was directed in Zacchaeus’ direction. Jesus saw what this man could be, while the crowd could only see what Zacchaeus was.
When you have no mercy within your heart, you have no vision. The goodness of God came upon Zacchaeus in a profound way. Zacchaeus became the generous man Jesus saw him to be. Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Like a reaper’s scythe, the mercies and goodness of God swooped into Zacchaeus’ life and cut out the old nature and salvation took place. Luke 19:9a And Jesus said unto him, this day is salvation come to this house.
When we judge people without the filters of Christ’s love in our hearts, we can miss the potential and wonder of others. We have been chosen in the Lord to be the hand of God’s mercy in this unkind and volatile world. Let us start by not being influenced by all the rhetoric that is spued out on a regular basis from all corners of the world.
Sinners will continue to judge sinners, but we who are in Christ will walk in the righteousness that Jesus has given us to minister with and to live by. Prov. 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, don’t be persuaded. Yes, may our persuasion be from God. Blessings to us all.
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