Judgment or Love and Grace?

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Do you judge others or do you show them the love and grace of the Lord? It is something we all struggle with and it is always a choice. We choose to judge or we choose to lavish others with the love and grace we have received from the Lord.

We had a wonderful book club discussion this week at Grace Anglican Community based on the book “Dropping Your Rock” by Nicole Johnson. The book is based on the story of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and what Jesus had to say about it.

John 8:3-11

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midstthey said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” 

If we found ourselves in Jesus’ position, how would we have responded? We find ourselves in similar positions each day when we hear that someone has done something they shouldn’t have done. How do we choose to respond? Are we more inclined to feel the need ‘to put people in their places’ or to ‘teach them a lesson’ than we are to show them love and grace?

We tend to be more judgmental of others whose sin is different than our sin. We may judge someone who has been caught in adultery harsher than we would someone who gossips or is very prideful – things we are all guilty of doing. The consequences of sin are different, but in the eyes of the Lord, sin is sin.

We also tend to judge others more harshly than we would want to be judged and more harshly than we would want one of our loved ones to be judged. What if the woman at the well was our son, daughter, brother or sister? Would we want compassion to be shown to them by others? Those who are in the body of Christ are our brothers and sisters and we need to show them compassion. Those who are not in the body of Christ need our compassion even more. If we, who are in the body of Christ, don’t show love and grace to those outside the body, how will they see the love and grace of God in the world?

Matthew 7:2

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

We are not to judge others because we will be judged by the same measuring stick we use to judge them. Jesus was the only one who was without sin and the only one who was able to judge the adulterous woman. He was the only one who could have chosen to throw the rock, but He didn’t. Instead He choose to show her love and grace.

“Our rocks will never change the world, only pockmark it with hate and fear.”1 We always leave a mark when we interact with others. Are you leaving a pockmark of hate and fear or are you leaving the beautiful mark of love and grace behind? Remember, it is always a choice. Choose to show others love and grace today!

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11 thoughts on “Judgment or Love and Grace?

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Praying to drop my rocks too and just pour out love and grace. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful habit to have? 🙂 God bless you!

    • Debbie, I am praying to drop my rocks and not pick up any new ones. It would certainly impact those we come in contact with if we were to choose to pour out love and grace rather than judgment. Doesn’t the world need more love and grace and less judgement?

  2. This is a great article. I’ve been on the other end where rocks were thrown at me. Instead of just following what Jesus said and did, I let that hurt from others not showing me love cause bitterness in my heart. Doing that caused me to judge others. Since last year I’ve been studying about God’s Grace and His Gospel. I don’t want to throw stones at anyone. Even if they’ve hurt me. The Lord showed me His love and grace. I want to be like Him and show the same to others. Throwing stones don’t help no one. Showing God’s loving-kindness does. I chose freedom…
    Veronica

    • Veronica, I am so blessed to know this post spoke to you. I am so sorry you have had rocks thrown at you but am thrilled to hear how God is working in your life. His grace is truly amazing and we are to show it to others just like He shows it to us. When we do, we don’t want to throw rocks of judgment we want to show His love. Hope you have a very blessed day!

  3. You’re right Shelly. I think we are all guilty of being judgmental, but we want to be treated better. We’ve all been saved by grace. We should exhibit the same to others. All others, no matter what.
    Great post!

    • Julie, amen! It would make such a difference in the lives of those around us if we would show love and grace rather than judgment. It is a great reminder for all of us!

  4. I really like how you present God’s word, Shelley. It’s real, to the point, an awesomely full of grace and love.

    I refollowed your blog to make sure I get your emails now. Things just keep getting lost in my reader!

    • Heather, thanks for your words of encouragement. I am so happy my words are speaking to you. God is so good. Be blessed.

  5. I myself have been on both sides of this spectrum and neither one of them seem very fulfilling. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It’s a great challenge. Also a great reminder. I want to be one who leaves love towards people instead of throwing rocks at them. Thank you very much!!

    • Hayden, I have been on both sides of this spectrum as well. It is challenging but so rewarding when we are able to put down our rocks of judgment and instead leave behind love and grace. Be blessed!

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