On Not Judging
To see sin, not as simply rebellion, or coming from a horrible, worthless person, but more Christianly as a self-inflicted wound, is to see it more clearly. Sin wounds me. Sin wounds others. Sin wounds creation. God is a loving Father who doesn’t want to see His children hurt themselves or others. Nor does He approve when they burn the house down. It’s not a matter of divine anger. It’s a matter of divine love.
I’ve often wondered about David’s statement in Psalm 51 when he says that he has sinned against God and God only and done this evil. I’m pretty sure Uriah would disagree with that.
And, along the same lines, I have wondered about Paul’s declaration in 1 Timothy 1:15 that he is the chief of sinners. How did he know he was the worst? Was he the worst of all time or just the worst so far? And, really, the worst? Worse than Caesar Nero and Attila the Hun (not to mention Hitler)?
It recently struck me that these statements are not hyperbole, expressions of a false humility, or evidence of very low self-esteem.
Both of those statements can only be honestly made by someone who is profoundly humble and completely nonjudgmental. The nonjudgmental person doesn’t see anyone else’s sin, only his/her own. She sees actions that hurt others and condemns injustice, but never judges the motives and hearts of those who commit the actions. She sees only the image of God in others.