CAPA Corner: Words of Encouragement from the Central Area Pastors Association

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I have heard several words of people describing Christians here lately that are a bit disheartening.  One of the main complaints is that Christians are judgmental!  This brings up the topic of the day: Is pointing out the sin in someone’s life being judgmental?  The short answer to that question is: It depends.  I’ll explain.

There are several key passages on being judgmental, but arguable the most point blank is Matthew 7:1-5.   In this passage, Jesus admonishes us to take out the log in our own eye, and then you can, “see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  This passage clearly teaches out against judging others.  The audience that Jesus was speaking to was notorious for boasting in their knowledge of the law and how holy they were.  Instead of God’s word humbling them and making them aware of their own sins, they used the laws given to them to boast in how “good” they were at keeping it in comparison to others.  With that mindset, they developed an elitist attitude towards those who weren’t “on their level.”  They lost the entire heart behind God’s law.  It’s not so that we can boast in ourselves, but rather boast in what God’s love has overcome!

On the other hand, Jesus himself pointed out the greed of the rich young ruler (Matt. 19) and uncovered the adulterous lifestyle of the woman at the well (John 4).  In Matt. 4:17, Jesus says, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!”  So, what is it?  Should Christians be pointing out the sin in others lives, or should they not?

Well, the key to this matter is the heart behind which it is done.  James 5:20 shows us the correct heart.  It says, “let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  The heart behind pointing out someone’s sin should be to help him or her come to a right relationship with God!  If I saw someone about to walk off a cliff, would letting them know be judgmental?  Oh course not!  It would be saving their life!  

However, the heart behind judgment is not the care or concern for the other person, but a concern for boasting in self.  So, the judgmental person throws a fellow sinner under the bus to make themselves look more holy.  This is the type of judgmental attitude that Jesus spoke out against. 

So if there is a Christian out there who is pointing out the specks in your life just to look a bit better, they need to understand that they also are in sin.  However, if there is a genuine friend who is trying to help you change and grow closer to a God who loves you, then thank God for such a godly friend!

The truth is that we are all sinners.  We are all in need of a loving, gracious savior.  The only one who is in a position to judge, Jesus, does not judge. He points out our sins, shows us our need, and offers grace!  The words of Christ to the woman caught in the act of adultery really sum it all up.  “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Jason Allen, First Baptist Central

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