One of the easiest thing to do is judge people based on who we think they are. It’s so disheartening to see Christians waging war with sinners in the quest that righteousness must prevail. It’s we against them campaign. We see them as rejects because we cannot imagine ourselves live life on such filthy and corrupt standards. We also cannot imagine the love of God upon them because they are sinners in the hand of an angry God.
One of the major thing we have failed to do in the past is to find out God’s perspective on this issue. Jesus gave a wonderful parable to shed light on God’s view on we see others in Luke 18:9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Self-righteousness is when you make your boast in your own ability to stand perfect and blameless. There are many who preach themselves and not Christ as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:5a “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…” We see people lay claim to the blessings of God in their lives because they were faithful and holy all the way. What they don’t know that they are saying is this: God owed and payed me my dues” The truth is that when it comes to grace boasting is excluded because the blessings of God on us are based on the free gift of righteousness.
Self-righteousness reduces the standards of God to our personal life philosophy. People say “I don’t like using face make-up, so everyone who uses one is going to hell.” It may be a doctrine and church greed that says “We fast 3 times a week in our ministry” so it implies if any other church does not do so then they are serious in serving God. All it ever does is to point you to you. Realize that Christ is the centre.
It is easy to look at “one sinner” and say “I can’t be like this Tax collector” because you see him cheat because of greed but when you look at the man in the mirror you would have seen one driven by greed too in a different format. When you judge someone in your self-righteousness, you are actually judging yourself. It’s the same thing with a Prostitute, many will criticize one and if they looked deeper then they would find out that they also had their own sexual indiscretions hidden beneath the mask of religion.
What was God’s conclusion? Romans 3 gives us great insight
9 What does all this mean? Does it mean that we Jews are better off[a] than the Gentiles? No, it doesn’t! Jews, as well as Gentiles, are ruled by sin, just as I have said. 10 The Scriptures tell us,
“No one is acceptable to God!
11 Not one of them understands
or even searches for God.
12 They have all turned away
and are worthless.
There isn’t one person
who does right.
17 They don’t know how
to live in peace.
18 They don’t even fear God.”
19 We know that everything in the Law was written for those who are under its power. The Law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty.20 God doesn’t accept people simply because they obey the Law. No, indeed! All the Law does is to point out our sin.
21 Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets[b] tell how we become acceptable, and it isn’t by obeying the Law of Moses. 22 God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. 23 All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. 24 But God treats us much better than we deserve,[c] and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. 25-26 God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life’s blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus.
Everyone has been concluded under sin both the Jews who had the laws of God and the gentile who was the dog not worthy of the bread. The grace of God has redefined who is accepted and blessed by God; The man who has faith in Jesus.
Everyone in Adam is the same, no sinner is lesser or greater. Everyone is the same, none is more or less righteous. The gift of faith made available a righteous that is a Free gift from God. So the blessings of God are now based on this free gift and not our righteous credentials.
This grace does not encourage us to judge people because of their lifestyles and keep away from them. The grace upon Jesus made sinners attracted to him and some dined with him. Why? It does not condemn but shares the love of the Father God in a non-threatening way. It is patient and kind. It believes the best even in the worst person. The grace does not make us judge but makes us see all judgment in Jesus.