Committing and condemning sin
I walk a Christian college campus every day. I catch conversations in passing, some praising the Lord, and others cursing him with a judgmental tongue. Some exemplify Christ in honesty, and a few offer cheat sheets and attendance codes, falsifying effort, sleeping peacefully with a dead conscious. Who am I to judge, though? After all, am I not also guilty of sin?
Judgment is a subject that is often difficult to navigate for those who love Christ. Matthew 7:1 states, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” With that being said, must we abandon our discernment and trust the untrustworthy? By no means is our call away from judgment a call to purposeful stupidity. It is, rather, a warning to us that we might not become arrogant in our relation to others, sinning as our former selves.
Often, as Christians we think that a new environment will be some cure to a sinful spell, but we still carry sins from home wherever we go, even onto a Christian college campus.
The Christian message is the most unknowingly searched for and needed of all messages. Perhaps this is the reason for most pride among devout Christians. Living in a Christlike manner is certainly something rare and prized. And exemplifying the ways of the Prince of Peace is, indeed, something worthy of imitation. But when the occasion comes to take the stage and present a righteous character, the name from a righteous man’s lips must always and only be “Jesus.”
If we who love Christ are to be pleasing ambassadors to him, then we must make it evident to the world around us that the light others see within us is not of ourselves. No one can produce this light. “As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one’” (Romans 3:10). As we walk differently from those around us, spreading our light as we go, let us Liberty students be seen as image-bearers of he whom we follow. Purely devoted to one cause, let us forever stand, unknown to ourselves, subject to the Spirit that drives us.
It is no easy task to be a servant of Christ at Liberty. Just before writing this, I found myself judging a passerby for committing a sin I do not wrestle with, forgetting to question my motivation for doing so. Was I righteously discerning good from bad? Or was I putting myself on a pedestal while convicting a stranger as a sinner?
It is important to acknowledge that both sinner and saint came from one seed. We are all image-bearers of the same God (Genesis 1:27). We must also thank the Lord that humanity does not get to establish moral rules. We must lean on the Lord for every decision we make, resting in his unfailing perfection, and understand our own unsound judgment. Finally, in our efforts to disciple people throughout the Earth, no judgment can be placed on those who hate our ways; they do not understand what they hate (John 1:5). After he makes himself known to these people and they make a choice to walk in the light or continue in the darkness, final judgment is in his hands, not ours (Romans 12:19).
We will fail to follow these steps to proper discernment. We will fail to be pure in judgment. The rising action of hope that we hold onto is the fact that our judgment cannot and will not be enough to create in us wisdom. We rely on him. The climax of hope is recognizing our salvation secure in our Savior. We are redeemed by him. The conclusion of hope is a life of servitude to a God who has been faithful to a faithless people, one who judged his son unjustly. We rest in him.
Kilker is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion