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Doing Life Together

ID-100358653I teach millennials. One of the most common things I hear is that they don’t want to judge anyone. While that sounds good on one level, it is also a problem on another. What I see is a misapplication of a biblical view of judgment.

Here is an example. A group of millennials were talking about their friends who co-habitate and claim to be Christians. The Bible is very clear that this is sin despite the wide acceptance of this practice in the larger culture. When I asked if any of them ever discussed the biblical view of co-habitation given their purported Christian faith, the answer given was, “I don’t want to judge them. Hey, we are all sinners. “The  verse that was quoted was Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” This scripture is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and is widely used to justify tolerance.

But Jesus is not saying that we aren’t to judge what is sin or call sin sin. He is talking about hypocrisy. In other words, if you can’t adhere to biblical standards, you have no business calling others out.

In Matthew 7, Jesus is telling us to first look at our own behavior before we are even qualified to look at what others do. “Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye? … You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.” (7:3, 5). Without this self-examination and repenting of our own sin, it is wrong to call others out. Remove the hypocrisy.

Judgment also infers that we are deciding if something is good or bad. We don’t remain indifferent to sin. If we never make this decision, we can’t function as a society. We would be in chaos.

Thus, the importance of Matthew 7 is to warn us to examine ourselves first, to be in right relationship with God in terms of HIs commands. Then we are in a position to talk with others about sinful or problem behavior. But this is a tall order, as none of us is without sin. So the focus really needs to be on us first, then our brother or sister.

So to my millennials, I say, look at your own issues first, and then it is OK to judge certain behaviors and actions as sin. You might be helping another Christian along the journey.

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