Saturday, 16 February 2013
The Father Judges No One.
This statement is consistent with my experience.
I have never known God to be angry or to judge anyone.
He is always understanding and compassionate - knowing, as we may not, the reasons for people's actions.
Neither does Jesus judge.
When the woman taken in adultery is set before him and the Pharisees tempt him to judge her, he draws in the sand and will not be moved. Jesus says to them, "'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'" John 8:7b (NRSV) Then he says to her, "Neither do I condemn you.'" John 8:11b (NRSV)
Today we encounter this in such things as ostracism of homosexuals.
Do they realize that they are throwing rocks?
"'Your sins are forgiven.'" Mark 2:9a (NRSV) is Jesus' refrain.
So we should not look to God for revenge or punishment of our enemies.
This is the mistake that David made - to assume that God is on our side to the detriment of our enemies.
"The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish." 1 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.
It is the lesser understanding that thinks in terms of rewards and punishments, or of combating and defeating evil.
The deeper understanding knows that there are reasons for our actions and that all are forgiven.
(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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