Paul’s opening sentence is both the final charge on the previous subject and the introduction to the new one: We shouldn’t pass judgment on one another…instead, a Christian should judge himself or herself on his/her actions so that he does not present a stumbling block to another.
Judging others, over a whole litany of subjects, can be a favorite pastime of many. This is especially true when disagreements on position occur. Paul discusses food regulations and causing others to stumble. I wanted to go a little simpler here today. When we judge others – in the context of such statements as: “I know more than you” or “I’m right and you’re wrong” or “I am more spiritual than you”… we exhibit an attitude of arrogance and pride. This is especially difficult when someone around us is prevented from growing spiritually.
I thought of an old poem, author anonymous, that sums up for me what Paul, and, more importantly, the Bible, guides us to regarding our perspectives on others:
I Dreamed Of Heaven
I dreamed death came the other night:
And heaven’s gates swung wide.
With kindly grace an angel
Ushered me inside.
And there, to my astonishment,
Stood folks I’d known on earth.
Some I’d judged and labeled
Unfit or of little worth.
Indignant words rose to my lips,
But never were set free;
For every face showed stunned surprise…
No one expected me!
Grace and peace to each of you as we are grow and are guided in God’s Word and love!