Judge or Jury

Colossians 3 implicitly calls us to not lie to each other. I’m not referring to the kind of lying where I say something untrue and purposefully deceive someone. I am referring to the way I speak to others, the vernacular I employ that is essentially opposed to the beliefs I hold. I am referring to the things I say when I am trying to convince people of something, essentially giving them an opinion. If what I am saying does not measure up the standard of His truth, I am speaking untruths, in essence also proclaiming lies over others. Verse 13 comes in from left field, alleviating my need to be right and says,Bear with one another if you have a complaint against each other.

When I hammer on people’s wrongs, I draw attention to them as people, to the flesh, and to sin.  I have to keep the focus on Christ. My message needs to be Christ centred. When confronted by an opportunity to minister to someone, I cannot regard that person according to the flesh (2 Cor 5:16-17).  I cannot base my message on what I see. Is the person covered in tattoos and piercings, homosexual, high on drugs, smoking, drunk, suffering from an obvious eating disorder, behaving badly, or insert here whatever you feel qualifies as sin? Then give them Jesus. We have to be careful to misconstrue truth with opinion. It is easy to feel as if we gave people the gospel by pointing out sin, but for many sin is subjective, what you struggle with might not be a struggle for that person. You are not here to give your opinion on their behaviour; you are here to bring truth.

What is truth?  Jesus is the Son of God, He died for our sins, we now have the amazing opportunity to live free from the burden that our fleshly desires put on us, we get to enjoy life in Christ without the shame of regrets and the shackles of addictions, because He is the one who took all of it on Himself for us. I do not need to make sin look bad in order for you to realise God is good. He is good. The depravity of my flesh cannot ever add to His glorious radiance. He is glorious by Himself.  We never have to compare Him to us in order for Him to shine. He is light, He is glory, He is love.

We do not approach people according to the flesh; we regard them as Christ would – accepted and loved. We cannot act as a jury and do mental and behavioural analytics on people in order to determine their worth. The degree of sin they might have or had has no bearing on the degree of redemption. He works perfectly, focus on the finished work of the Cross.  Don’t promote sin by discussing it; shed light by bringing Christ into it. He is light that drives out darkness, it is His goodness that leads to repentance, not realisation of our badness. If we can expose people to the nature of Christ, His light will illuminate their true value.

Just love people. Give them Jesus. Eyes on the Prize, keep them set, and focus on Him.