Judge Not

Passing judgements on others is a common human nature. Somehow we find some pleasure in pointing others’ faults and making ourselves seem high and mighty as though we were perfect. A person may say something wrong or do something wrong and he can be defined for life based on that one mistake alone. But really, who are we to sit on the judgement throne and pass judgements on our fellow brothers and sisters? Who gave us permission to play the part of God? How much right do we have to do so?

The story of Job is familiar to all of us. He is best known for the reply he gave his wife when she asked him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). The reply he gave is written in Job 2:10. His wife has been portrayed as a negative character by everybody for years. In the face of adversity, she asked her husband to curse his God. We always speak of the difficulties Job underwent. Let us take a moment to reflect on the problems his wife underwent as well. In Job 1:3, we read about the riches Job possessed and further when we read the book of Job, we come to know that he was indeed a very generous and respected man in his society.

If he were so rich and respected, surely his wife too would have enjoyed her own place among the women in the society. Up till the time disaster struck the house of Job, all women would have called her blessed. They would have kept showering praises on her and might even have said she were the luckiest of all women. But when Job lost all his possessions, she too lost everything. Her husband, who was the most respected of all men was now sitting in the ashes and scraping himself with a potsherd (2:8). When Job lost 10 children, she too lost her 10 children. As a mother, she underwent the greatest of all sufferings by losing all of her children in a single moment. It is said that losing a child is a very traumatic experience for a mother. Some go through depression and may never fully recover throughout life. Job’s wife didn’t lose 1 or 2 children. She lost all 10 of them. She suffered as well. Considering her situation, her reaction in 2:9 doesn’t really seem very surprising.

My purpose is not to support her behaviour but before we point our fingers at her, if we were in that position, what would yours and my reaction have been? In our lifetime, none of us may undergo problems with the intensity that Job suffered. None of us may even undergo half the problems he suffered. And yet how many times have we complained and grumbled against God? For even the slightest problems that come in our life, we are ready to push God away. We pray once, twice and by the third time, if our prayer still remains unanswered, what reactions have come out of your lips?

Nowhere has it been written in the Bible to judge or to put others down by blaming and pointing fingers. We have no right to judge our fellow brothers/sisters because God (the greatest of all judges) has not judged us according to our sins. If He were to show you a screen filled with your past mistakes and if He were to judge you and punish you based on every one of them, how many of us would still be standing here today? No. We are not here because of any great deed that we did. Instead we are here for the simple reason- His love, His mercy, His compassion. In His eternal mercies, He has forgiven our trespasses. Not because we deserved it. Not because we earned it. But because of who He is – the compassionate Father.

In Jeremiah 31:34, God says “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” He hasn’t forgotten our sins for that would be against His nature. He is not a forgetful God. Instead He has chosen not to remember them for our sakes. In Lamentations 3:22, 23, it says clearly that it’s only because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed. The best illustration of what the Lord has done for us can be seen in the parable of the unforgiving servant (Mat 18:21-35). The next time you are tempted to blame somebody and point fingers, just remember that Jesus forgave you and that is what He expects from you as well- to show kindness and compassion to your fellow brothers and sisters. May God bless you.