“Who are you to judge me when you have sinned too?”
“Who is anyone to tell me how to live?”
Sound familiar? This attitude is pervasive in our culture.
And it has led to one of the greatest myths inside the Church: we are not to judge one another.
As a result, for over two decades, the sin in most Bible-believing churches has multiplied. Our churches are now filled with people with unbiblical divorces, people who are living together, and people who are living a homosexual lifestyle.
We need to remember that as Christians, we’re the light of the world, and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-16). We have been washed, we have been sanctified, and we have been changed.
This means we need to live lives that look different from the rest of the world. As light-bearers, we should be revealing sin instead of engaging in it. As salt, we should be enhancing and changing the “taste” of our culture, instead of going along with it.
At the same time, this also doesn’t mean that we get to judge and criticize the people in Hollywood or the people in the city council.
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What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” (1 Corinthians 5:13)
In other words, it’s not our job to judge people outside of the Church. But it is our job to judge those inside of the church.
Now some of you might be thinking right now, “Wait a minute, Chip, what do you mean by ‘judge’?”
The word “judge” here isn’t about condemnation or judgmentalism. It’s about confrontation, and offering accountability through love.
It’s about seeing someone you really love headed down a path of death, destruction and pain and deciding to step in to say something because you don’t want them to get hurt. For example, if you see your friend veering off the moral road, approach them with love.
Recently, I met a lady who, upon finding out that her friend was having an adulterous affair, literally said to her, “Hey, I’m concerned about you.” And then she just started to talk about what she was observing, which opened up a dialogue.
The problem is that most of us are either fearful or silent, so we don’t hold each other accountable.
What we tend to forget is that God sets boundaries for our good. Behind every commandment is a heart of compassion, and wisdom, and knowledge. This wisdom is how we can get the highest and the best from God.
Let’s remember this when we confront others with the truth in love.
If you’d like to explore this topic more in depth, take a look at Chip’s series “Culture Shock” and “Why I Believe.”
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip