Wednesday, 1 August 2012
The Father Judges No One.
I have never known God to be angry or to judge anyone. God is always compassionate and understanding - knowing, as we may not, the reasons for people's actions.
Neither does Jesus judge. When the woman who has been caught in adultery is brought before him and the Pharisees tempt him to judge her he draws in the sand and will not be moved. "'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'" John 8:7b (NRSV) When they have all left Jesus says to her, "'Neither do I condemn you..'" John 8:11 (NRSV)
Today we encounter such things in the ostracism of criminals and abortionists etc..
Do we realize that we are throwing rocks?
"' Your sins are forgiven.'" Luke 7:48 (NRSV)
So we should not look to God for revenge or punishment of our enemies. This was the mistake that David made : to assume that God was on the side of the righteous to the detriment of others.
"The Lord....is patient with you, not wanting any to perish." 2 Peter 3:9 (NRSV)
What does it mean to love your enemies?
Perhaps it means that we should understand them, understand their motives, their past. Then we may be able to pray for them.
God exhorts us to visit criminals in prison not to throw rocks at them.
It is the lesser understanding that thinks in terms of rewards and punishments, or of combating and destroying evil.
The deeper understanding knows that there are reasons for our actions and that all people are our brothers and sisters.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)
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