Where I live, I have a view of the comings and goings of my 80 or so neighbours. I’m pretty familiar with who does and who doesn’t live there. Throughout lockdown I’ve been looking out to see who’s been having visitors and assuming the worst and sitting, quite literally, in my high castle, judging others for not following the lockdown rules in the same way that I am.
Then we look at the news and probably find it quite hard to not have some opinion on the behaviour of senior members of the government regarding the same thing.
The bible has plenty to say on who and how we judge. I was reminded of the passage in John 8 where a woman, caught in adultery, is brought before Jesus by the teachers of the law to be stoned. Jesus’ words are, as always, perfect and leave the teachers of the law speechless. He says ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ By the end, no one is left except Jesus who tells her that he doesn’t condemn her either in an amazing display of grace.
Another passage that warns us against this kind of judgement is the first few verses of Matthew 7 where Jesus speaks almost comically about trying to remove a speck from someone else’s eye whilst we have a plank in our own.
Ultimately, our concern should be for how we ourselves and then those around us match up to God’s expectations. And Paul puts us all on a level playing field in this respect when he reminds us ‘there is no one righteous, not even one’. But he goes on to remind us that God gives us righteousness through the shedding of Christ’s blood.
In the end, all will be judged by Jesus and our desire for ourselves and those around us is that he will say to us on that day ‘come, you who are blessed by the Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world’. This will be the case for all who have faith in Jesus.
By all means, have an opinion and engage with what’s going on around you. But the thing we should find most outrageous and worrying is people’s rejection of God and where this leads. Can you engage from this perspective whilst being humbly assured of your own position before God and praising Him for it?