Let’s talk about two things: love & judgement.
Are they related? Yes and no. You can have one without the other. Are they the same? Obviously not. Are they both necessary? Well, I’m sure you’d rather have love than judgement.
So what’s the deal with these two?
They both look a whole lot different when seen through Jesus’ eyes.
Oh the good old, WWJD outlook... it never goes out of style. Here’s the thing about Jesus and his style when it comes to love & judgement... love comes first, judgement comes last.
When Nicodemis wanted to sit down and talk with Jesus he didn’t ask “Why now?” or “What for?” or even “Are you just meeting with me at night because your afraid or embarrassed?“ - Nope, no judgements, just a yes.
They met, they talked, Jesus kept it real & surreal talking all things spiritual rebirth while flipping the expected on it‘s head. A rebel with a cause, if you will...
He talked about love & judgement. He said that “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son.” & that “there is no judgement for anyone who believes in him.”
You heard the man... NO JUDGEMENT. Walking with Jesus is a judgement free zone. So why doesn’t it feel like that? Because we judge ourselves, because we judge others, because we stray from Jesus’ perspective here and there because we are human. And ya know what, don’t judge yourself for that either, give yourself grace, give each other grace on a crummy day, in the heat of the moment, when you’re stressed out. But, then regroup, apologize, and move on right back into that judgement free zone.
But what about the others? You see, Jesus said he’s already taken care of that... no need for us to judge, but there is a need for us to love. A big need.
God didn’t send his only Son only for the inner circle and not the outer circle. Nope, nope, nope. He sent him for the WORLD. Oh, and the judegment comes last, remember? And it‘s not ours to give.
Easier said than done. And I’m not trying to get all preachy teachy... that just spoke to me. I never saw it in that way before... God is personally reminding me... because I can get judgey sometimes. Over silly stuff too... and especially over myself.
Ps: Judging is different than coaching, refining, disciplining. And I think love is a factor in that difference.
So let’s talk about love. Since that’s what it’s all about any way. And I’m not talking lovey dovey love, I’m talking - all in, sick to my stomach if anything were to happen to you kind of love...
Let me explain that kind of love a little further. Some say that being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do. I can’t disagree there, but I think fully loving is the hardest thing you will ever do. Parenting is just one way that love is embodied because it’s how you feel towards your children.
So why is it so difficult?
It’s not because of the sleepless nights, that there are no days off, or that your whole life gets turned upside down. Nope, those things aren’t even worth focusing on when you watch your heart leave your chest & become a tiny little human.
This human you will fight to the death for. This human’s joy will bring you more joy than you’ve ever known. Their health feels like your health, in fact, it matters even more. It’s gut wrenchingly, beautifully, terrifying from the moment they enter your life, no matter how they got there.
Now think... For God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son. He willingly gave us his radical life giving love. Wow, that’s a whole lotta love. Yep, that piece of the puzzle came first, for everyone.
He’s not asking us to give radical life giving love to every person you encounter - he’s already given them that. Showing someone love can look as simple as patience or kindness.
Just another way he’s a rebel with a cause. Taking something so complicated as judgement and love & making it simple. Judgement: don’t worry, he’s got it. Love: he gives it to you in all forms to share in all forms. From simple to gut wrenching it‘s what comes first.