I don’t know about you, but I know sometimes as a pastor’s wife it can be easy to pass judgment. We may not mean to, but it can happen so easily.
I want to share one of Nicole Johnson’s writings in her book Dramatic Encounters with God: 7 Life-Changing Lessons of Love in hopes it will hit a chord.
John 8:2-11 tells of a dramatic encounter between Jesus and a woman caught
in adultery (and her accusers) that offers us a simple and life-changing lesson:
Love can free us from judgment.
Christ demonstrated this truth for us so clearly. We don’t have to wonder what he thinks or what he would do—he showed us that day in Jerusalem—and we can still follow his example, this afternoon or tonight or tomorrow night. God hasn’t changed his mind or his ways when it comes to love. Whether we find ourselves in a situation like the woman in the story or like the religious people called to gather around a sinner, love gives us the chance to choose our response carefully.
At first glance, this encounter seems to deal more with the crowd around the woman than with the woman herself. Perhaps it is because so many of us are caught in judgment. We are just as likely to stand in the crowd of accusers as we are to be in the center of the circle, accused. I do think that Christ said plenty to her in the story, indicating that this dramatic encounter occurs for the fallen as well as for those of us who find it easy to judge their fall.
- No one aspires to be judgmental, so why are we?
- Why do most people outside of the Christian faith perceive Christians to be judgmental?
- What things are acceptable to judge? How do we constructively bring about change without judgment?
- Often we can see judgmentalism very clearly in others, but it is much harder to recognize when it lives inside of us. Prayerfully ask yourself these questions:
- Am I judgmental of others? With my words or in my heart?
- Do others perceive me as judgmental?
- Has judging someone ever affected my relationship with them?
- When has it been hardest for you to “drop your rock” of judgment?
- Is “Go and sin no more” a realistic request? What do you think Jesus was getting at?
I pray these questions will cause us to stop and think before we pass judgment. I would encourage you to purchase this small book and allow her writings to bless your heart!