Date: August 24, 2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan Krauss
Scripture: Matthew 7:1-6
Description: Matthew 7 is a deceptively simple command by Jesus: “Do not judge, let you too be judged.” I say deceptively simple because the notion of non-judgment is often manipulated to justify immoral behavior (i.e. just think of the lyrics to a recent Miley Cyrus song in reference to excessive debauchery: “Only God can judge us…”), or, as the text of Matthew 7 expounds on, we often make judgments while forgetting we ourselves are guilty of similar offenses. Drawn to its essence, I think this teaching by Christ invites us to adopt humble–not blind–perspectives so as not to exclude anyone from the Grace of God.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a marvelous case study on proper approaches to non-judgment. Bell, for instance, is the only character wise and humble enough to offer compassion and assistance to the Beast. He has great faults (like a temper and mistrust); and while Belle does not condone these traits, she nevertheless sees into the person Beast can become. Our spiritual role in avoiding judgment is much the same. God asks us to curb our judgments…especially unfair ones…for the sake of proclaiming to the whole world that EVERYONE can receive the grace and healing of God through Jesus Christ, if only we earnestly and truly repent.