So A Gay Guy Walks Into A Christian Bookstore....
I was asked to write a blog on the Judgement of God. When I was first asked – I thought “heck no, that sounds like brimstone and fire!” but when they explained what they were thinking – I thought… hmmmmm...
The person explained that people and God both judge people. But people judgement and God judgement are totally different.
People Judging God Judging
Critical True but not condemning
Pulls away and rejects others God draws and gets close to the person
Shaming God never shames
Hurts Hurts, but in a good way
People tend to never forget God says He will remember no more
(*if the blood of Jesus is applied)
People point fingers God points to the cross
No offer of help, just heartache Offers solutions and restoration
No Love offered until you shape up Offers Love just the way you are
The thing of it is, when people judge other people, they are actually deciding to judge God as well. People and God judge differently, so in choosing a different way, people are saying that God is wrong and they are right. This basically puts God on trial for His version of judgement.
Let me explain with a true story:
Guy walks into a Christian Bookstore somewhere in Canada.
He says to the older, mature lady working behind the counter, “Where would your section be on how to help separate yourself from your children?”
She says, “If I might ask, what exactly are you looking for?”
He says, “Well it’s been a long three months, 2 of my children have tried to kill themselves in the past three months.”
She exclaims, “Oh my! Are you attending a church that can help you?”
He says, “Well, no. I tried that and it did not work out well.”
Interested she queries, “What happened?”
“I told them I was gay and they basically turned their backs on me.”
Incredulous she says, “If I might be so bold to suggest that perhaps your children are reacting to your choices in life.”
He says, “Look, I have spent over $100, 000 in counselors, Christian and otherwise, trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. No one could figure it out. I know God knows but I sure as hell know you do not. But what I have discovered is that well-meaning Christians, like yourself, tell me what is wrong with me and they think they know how to fix me. I have been prayed over, anointed, prayed about, ridiculed, insulted, shunned and told what a sinner I am. All I know is that God can figure me out and when I try to go to church, so called Christians just point their fingers, gossip and condemn me for my sin. We never get to talk about theirs. So I think I will skip church and just keep talking to God, cause He knows just what to do with me. Now can you show me that section or not?”
And that my friends, is how God and people differ.
You see God gave us one rule: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”
But often we will not love our neighbor because they are different: perhaps a different skin color, a different religion, a different set of family values, a different language, a different money class or they do not handle life the way we do.
God did not say “Love your neighbors who are like you” – He said “Love your neighbors as yourself”.
If you need help knowing who your neighbor is – try reading the Good Samaritan story in the Bible – it is pretty clear. Luke 10:25-37
How do you love? Do you relate to the guy in the story – condemned for your life choices or with the lady behind the counter who judges her neighbor by her standards (or rules)?
Both of these people are “sinners” – actually I have yet to meet a person who isn’t: yet we love to point our fingers and judge other peoples sins.
I love the way Dylan Bressey explained it to me – he is the local director or Young Life, a booming teen group here in Grande Prairie. He said the kids will come to him and say – “I’m bi-sexual” or “I don’t believe in God.” He says – "That's okay, you are welcome here. Hey can I talk to you about this guy Jesus?” and he talks about Jesus and loves on them and he lets God sort out all that other stuff. Brilliant!
I, for years, was probably more like the lady behind the counter if I was honest.
Years ago God got hold of me and told me, while I was at my most miserable, most sinful, most not walking the right road – that then, at my ugliest, at that moment, was when He loved me the most. It was incredulous and life changing. It changed my view, my perspective about how look at others and how God looks at us.
You see, God does not love us because we are good. God loves us because He is good. A vast difference.
He does not ever ask you to shape up before He will love you!
Can I ask you a personal question that you can answer to yourself? You do not need to tell anyone.
I wanted to ask - do you judge? But that question is almost redundant - even though in the Bible it says explicitly not to judge, we all judge other people to some degree.
Rather I will ask - how do you judge?
Like God – with only Love or like people – with only criticism?