Judgment is a heckuva thing and shouldn’t be misunderstood. 

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

So, show of hands here; who just really, really loves being judged? Who loves hearing that gavel bang signifying they’ve been evaluated and most likely, come up lacking? Now, I know some of you spin-meisters out there are probably raising your hands in the name of constructive and objective criticism. Shoot, maybe you’re thinking, ‘There’s gotta be evaluation for growth to happen.’ I hear you, I get you, but that isn’t what we’re talking about here.

This verse comes from a larger passage that contains the lines any self-respecting NFL fan known (John 3:16). I promise I’m not wearing a rainbow afro right now but I’m telling you this one is just as important. John 3 is all about Jesus trying to explain to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, what the Son of God (him) is all about. And this would have been difficult for Nicodemus to do. The reason? Of all the groups that Jesus regularly ripped on, the Pharisees got the brunt of it. So he’s trying to set the record straight here. He’s trying to explain why he’s been so tough on them all this time.

I give Nic some credit for coming to his condemner and saying, “What’s up with this? Why are you bagging on us all the time?” Whether he believes Jesus’s explanation or not this is a conversation that needs to happen. It needs to happen in our parenting relationships and, like here, in our sibling relationships. (You know, all children of God and all that, even if you’re completely jacking it up like the Pharisees were; they and Jesus are still brothers) Because like it or not, we do our fair share of judging and we have to square things up with the ones who feel judged.

It’s up to us to explain ourselves to them. It’s up to us to let them know why we’re being tough on them and it’s up to us to tell them that far from being their judge, we are in our own way trying to save them. We’re trying to make them better. Now, I don’t know what your relationships are like with your kids or your brothers and sisters any more than I know if Nic was sincere in his questions. The Pharisees were always trying to trip Jesus up because he was calling b.s. on the way they did things. But what I do know is that we owe those we love and care for the time to tell them we love and care for them and that our aim for them is good. It probably isn’t salvation and it’s certainly not on the level that Jesus had to offer but it’s no less important.

The Everyday Question: Ever hurt or anger someone you were trying to help? 

I’m sure it’s no revelation to you that this whole judgment thing is dicey and as someone who has been on both sides of this equation I can say, neither side is comfortable. Maybe you know someone who is judgy (yeah, made that up) or who you’ve judged and it went sideways. If you do and this might help open a dialogue I hope you’ll share it. Social icons are below to help out. 

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