Friday, March 4, 2011

Don't be so judgmental and legalistic...

A post by Scott Jamison got me thinking this week. It's so common to throw around the words "judgmental" and "legalistic" any time there is a discussion wrestling with how to live in this world without being "of the world", or with developing friendships with sinnners but not "friendship with the world."

If we discuss our discomfort with specific types of entertainment or concern about an issue, we might be accused of being too concerned about things that don't matter and not focused enough on love.

Yet a person wrestling with these things may not be finger pointing or judging others at all. There may be a battle going on in a person who wants to, like Paul:

"count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that comes which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--

that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and my share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus...

and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you." Philippians 3:8-15

To many people, "counting everything loss" and "forgetting what lies behind" means turning their backs on many painful things that are in their past life before meeting Jesus--drinks, joints, vulgar movies, steamed up back seat windows, sensual music, ungodly philosophies, to name a few.

To them "pressing on" means seeking and being involved in things that point them to Jesus and our life with him.

So if someone says or posts something that might seem legalistic or judgmental, keep in mind that it may not be legalistic or judgmental at all, but rather an honest attempt to keep the faith and be ready when Jesus comes.

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