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The Reflex To Love: Why Judgment Is a ‘You Problem’

Whenever I write or talk about love, someone gets mad at me. As sure as anything, I will hear about how wrong I am to love “those people.” Better still someone will tell me that loving really looks like exclusion, condemnation, shaming, or belittling. Whenever I speak of love, there’s always a line of people who prefer I teach people to judge.

And I totally get that!

I may be alone in this, but I can’t make it through the day without judging someone. I judge the drivers in front of me – they’re driving too slowly. I judge the drivers behind me – they’re driving too fast. I judge people who weigh more and people who weigh less. I judge people who dress fancy and people who don’t dress well enough. I judge people who are too conservative. I judge people who are too liberal. The shameful reality of my life is that I’m judgmental, even when I’m not trying to be judgmental (especially to people who refuse to use the Oxford comma: Neanderthals).

You don’t have to admit it, and heck, it may not be the same for you, but I suspect many of us have a reflex to judge that’s as simple and certain as our reflex to blink. We don’t think about it. We just do it.

Yet when we do it, we are working in opposition to the teachings of Jesus.

If Jesus is doing anything through His words and actions, He is rearranging our instinct to choose judgment over love, as His brother James says, “mercy over judgment.” In Jesus’ mind, judgment should be a chore and love should be a reflex.

Love is the central teaching of Jesus and the Apostle Paul follows His lead.

When Paul talks about what is most important he says, “Here’s what’s most important: ‘faith, hope and love and the greatest of these… is love.” Perhaps even more shocking is that Jesus says, this is how other people will know we are His disciples…if we“love one another.”

Turns out, Christians will NOT be known as Jesus’ disciples by the votes we cast or our positions on policy; we won’t be known by our church doctrines or whether we “leveraged our leadership.” We won’t even be known by moral accomplishments. Jesus says that we will be known by our love!

Before we can do anything and call it Christian, we are asked to love.

Those who follow Jesus are expected to love first – without hesitation, without condition, without any “Yeah, I know, but what about ________?” When Jesus is asked what the greatest command is, He says, “Love God and love your neighbor.”

But Christians don’t always act that way. Christians act like the greatest command is to tell everyone what all the other commands are (Tweet That). And while ignorance of God’s will has never been helpful we cannot bring others under the reign of God by ignoring the first rule of God: love.

All that to say this: There is someone you judge rather than love and your inability to love them is a you problem.

I believe Jesus is neither naïve or stupid. He knows terrorism exist. He knows some people identify as LGBT. He knows Christians disagree about theology. He knows there are Democrats and Republicans. He knows some people are Pro-Israel, anti-Israel, or don’t care about Israel. Jesus knows some people pay more taxes while others pay less. Jesus knows there are racist and sexist and bigots and backstabbers. Jesus knows each of us will have some person or group we don’t like, but He gives us no caveat: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

We are free to have our convictions about every item and issue, we are free — even encouraged, when appropriate — to work for just ends. We are not free, however to hold convictions, regardless of what they are, in the absence of love (Tweet That). Jesus knows what history should have taught us: Conviction without love ends in oppression.

If you’re like me and love is not yet a fully functioning reflex; if it’s something you have to ponder and discuss; debate and deliberate, then that is a sign of the work we have remaining until Christ is fully formed is us.

It is time to rearrange our reflexes…even for people who refuse to use the Oxford comma.

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  • Cosmo

    I’m convinced that one of our greatest hindrances to loving well is our need to not be misunderstood. We don’t want our expression of love toward one of “those people” to be misinterpreted as agreement with their lifestyle so we withhold love, or we extend it with conditions. We’re more concerned that others know where we stand on any given issue than being known for our prodigal love.

  • bruce h.

    Good News!

    Message: JOHN 3:16

    LIFE

    WHY?

    Through the first human couple, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, the sentence of death passed upon the entire human race.

    >Genesis 2:7 “and man became a living soul/being.”

    >Ezekiel 18:4 the word of God states: “the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

    Adam and Eve were told by God where they would go;

    > Genesis 3:19 “till thou return unto the ground; for out of it thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

    > Romans 5:19 “For as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

    HOW?

    > John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.”

    >1 Cor. 15:22-23 “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

    Furthermore in 1 Tim. 2:4-6 it is explained; ”Who will have all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, in due time.”

    A perfect human life for another perfect human life (a corresponding price) The first life defective and it’s posterity; the “last Adam, a quickening spirit.” The risen Lord Jesus who was “holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners.” “The Word” or “Logos” who was made flesh, and in love and obedience to God his Father “poured out his soul unto death.” Isaiah 53:12 Jesus stated in John 6:51 “and the bread I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” The ransom-price, the right to life, to be applied in due time.

    1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the whole world.”

    The offer of justification to life as in Romans 5:18 “so by the righteousness of one, upon all men unto justification of life.” on the terms of Romans 10:10 “…believeth unto righteousness.” “…confession unto salvation.” If there is a first resurrection, then there is more than one implied also.

    > 1 Cor. 15:38 “…a body as it hath pleased Him.”

    >1 Cor. 15:40 “the glory of the celestial is one, the glory of the terrestrial is another.”

    WHEN?

    Acts 24:15 (“Just and Unjust”)

    In Hebrews 11:3 the statement is made that “the worlds (ages) were framed by the word of God.” All human history is shaped by the justice, love, wisdom and power of God; in permitting evil for

    THY KINGDOM COME

    mans education, and the gift of his son for our redemption!

    > Acts 17:31 “he hath appointed a day, in that which

    he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.”

    > Daniel 12:2 “Many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.” (unconscious aspect of death)

    >2 Peter 3:8 “one day with the Lord as a thousand years.”

    The “Judgment Day” = is the “Kingdom.”

    Jesus stated in John 5:28-29 “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice” “they that have done good, unto a resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto a resurrection of judgment.” (original meaning in early Greek MSS) NOTE: the location of the dead is clearly stated to be the same before their disposition upon resurrection!

    JESUS also include in this resurrection;

    >Matt. 12:41-42 “the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment.” >Matt. 10:15 “more tolerable for the land of Sodom, and Gomorrah.” (Literally)

    > Matt. 19:28 “the 12 tribes of Israel.”

    Jeremiah 31:16 “from the land of the enemy.”

    These all having died in total or relative ignorance, and inherited weakness, prior to the millennial day of judgment!

    >Jesus stated again in John 12: 47-48 “if any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not-the word I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” >>A resurrection by judgments during the “times of restitution” Acts 3:21. When the true “way of holiness” Isaiah 35:8 will be prepared for mankind! Isaiah 11:9 “shall not hurt or destroy.” Isaiah 26:9 “when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants will learn righteousness.” With Satan bound a 1,000 years!

    1 Cor. 15:23 “every man in his own order.”

    THE CALL OF OUR PRESENT AGE! John 6:44,65

    Acts 15:14-18 “God did at the first visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.”>> A spiritual church for his Son; the Christ. (the Spirit and the Bride)

    Rev. 22:17. Jesus said: “Deny self and follow me” Matt. 16:24 “ sanctify them through thy truth” >>John 17:17 “ be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” Rev 2:10. The completion of this “first resurrection” ends this age! THEN-Rev. 21:2 “new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven” >>Acts 7:48 “God dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Then the “millennial” reign of Christ actually begins!

    Psalm 102:18 “the people that shall be created”!!!

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Message: Good News!

    Do not leave the earth out of the picture!>>> Yes,Isaiah 24:5 is the present condition!.”the earth is polluted under the inhabitants”//, but this will change as the general resurrection unfolds! >>>For example,in Ezekiel 36:10-11 God states” i will multiply men upon you,all the house of Israel,ALL of it ! “++-vs.11″and will do better, than at your beginnings: and you shall know that I am the Lord!”. (Multiplied by the resurrection promised to them in Ezekiel 37+Isaiah 42+49:6-9″say to the prisoners,go forth;”!>>> .see Ezekiel 36:31″then shall you remember your own evil ways”etc.That generation!/those people will remember because they have been made alive again under the new covenant made with Israel!(Jeremiah 31-all..)remember the words of Moses.>>>Deut.30:2-8″return and obey”// Of course everyone gets another opportunity! That is what the prophets spoke of! The nations shall benefit in order; >>>Zech.8:23″the nations”.>>>Zech.12:7-13″the tents of Judah first”!>>> Deuteronomy 18:18″a prophet from among their brethren” (Jesus Christ was a Jew..) Wait for it ! >>>(John 5:28-29)..

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Message: A KINGDOM IS ….

    future

    Psalm72***”Give the king thy judgements,O God,and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness,and thy poor with judgement.”./>>vs.4-He shall judge the poor of the people,he shall save the children of the needy–/>>>vs.13-He shall spare the poor and needy,and shall save the souls of the needy.!”//>>As the first advent was a precursor to the return of Jesus Christ;—i.e.the miracles of healing,sustenance,and resurrection enacted by the power of God,–so also at his return! />>see Ephesians 1:10, for example,on a global scale!>> 1Tim.2:4″God will have ALL men to be saved,and to come to a knowledge of the truth”->>>-Deuteronomy32:4″the Rock,his work perfect”! >>>John 5:28-29″all those in the tombs will hear his voice”(his son’s-Jesus Christ),;>>a visible resurrection to a new life and opportunity ,as the earth is healed by God !!!

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    >> MESSIAH >> ( WAS/IS) >> A JEW..

    ( a Hebrew )

    ♦The only one of the descendants of Abraham who could fulfill, and will fulfill , the old testament prophecies spoken of concerning the Messiah !

    Genesis 22:8 (“God will provide himself a lamb”), as stated by Abraham..

    Exodus 12:6 (“the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the

    ( evening”), (the lamb of the Passover).

    Leviticus 16:6 (“Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin-offering”).

    ( type of Jesus ).

    Leviticus(l6:15(“the goat of the sin-offering for the people”)

    ( type of the church ).

    Numbers 28:3 (“two lambs”)>>(“day by day”)—>>(“a continual burnt-

    (“offering”) (effective forever!”).

    Deuteronomy 18:15 Moses stated (“the Lord thy God will rise up

    *** Unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee…”)

    An atonement price, for all time , and effective for those long-dead, would have to be better than that of lambs ,goats, and cattle! >>>Please note ; the tabernacle picture in Leviticus 16 is ongoing , through-out human history until the present time; this culminates ,and merges into the temple picture narrated by Solomon ! ***Then Messiah’s king dom actually begins !

    ***Daniel 9:26 >> (“shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself!”).Note the satisfaction for sins completed in this scripture!

    Isaiah 11:1 >> (“a rod out of the stem of Jesse”)

    Isaiah 42: all >> (“give thee for a covenant of the people”).

    ***Isaiah 53:7 >> (“he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter”)

    Isaiah 53:8 >> (“for the transgression of my people”)…

    Micah 5;2 >> (” shall he come forth unto me to be ruler in Israel”)! “>>> 4:8 (” 0 tower of the flock”)

    A spiritual king, to restore and accomplish the fulflllment of the promises made to Israel by God, his Father !!!

    Genesis 15:15 >> (“for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever!”). This promise will be realized soon!

    Then Israel’s “judges” will be restored “ as at the first “ (Isaiah 1:26) (Abraham , Isaac, Jacob, David, with many others! >>> See Ezekiel 36:11( “do better unto you than at your beginnings”), >>(to answer Moses’ prayer, in Psalms 90,) >>>*Ezek.36:26(“new heart”),>> Ezek.36:31(“then shall ye remember your own evil ways”), That generation! Literally! They will be resurrected to earth,>> in the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37 (“the whole house of Israel”)>>> the “6 million+ lost in the Holocaust generation also!! >>> This is echoed in many of the Prophets’ statements ;>> * Jeremiah 31:1 (“at the same time”),>>*Jeremiah 31:27 (“I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and the seed of beast.”) Jeremiah will get his land !* .( Jer.32:11),>( *Isaiah 29:23 (“when he (Abraham) seeth his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him”)!>>>*Isaiah 33:24 (“the inhabitant shall not say I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity!”)

    The population of earth is blessed in order !>> >*Zechariah 8:22 (“ all languages of the nations”),>> to a fair trial for eternal life, under wonderful conditions!> See* Isaiah 35:all! >>>*Isaiah 65:20(“ as a child a sinner shall die an hundred years old”), the minimum age,( when decided), on the way to eternal life..You will be there! >>See *Isaiah 51:3(“wilderness like Eden”), 51:6(“my salvation shall be forever”),>>and* Isaiah 25:7(“destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people”)..vs.8 (“He will swallow up death in victory”)!

    These scriptures all apply to natural Israel , as well as the spiritual nation..>>>*Psalms 104:30-31(“Thou sendest forth thy spirit,they are created,and thou renewest the face of the earth”..(“the glory of the Lord shall endure forever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works !!!”)…

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