Sin and Judgment

December 18, 2019

“We are not to assume that we are called to reach out to the “sinners” around us. As a prophet of God, Nathan [the man who confronted King David about his sin] has his ear and heart deeply attuned to God; he knows within himself why God is sending him to the king. Before we speak to those caught in sin, let us take care always to measure ourselves against the Lord’s admonition: “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye” (Mt 7:5).” (Dynamis 12/18/2019)

 

“Christians are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force… It is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have authority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil not by force, but by choice.” (St. John Chrysostom)

 

“…we must use our struggle to pray for growth in humility. When we do not want to pray, when our minds wander, and especially if we start to judge or recount the wrongs of others in our thoughts, we should cry out like the tax collector “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” as we turn our attention back to the Lord. It is really impossible to pray without humility, for to be fully present before God requires us to accept the truth that we are in constant need of the divine mercy and healing. The more fully we open our hearts to the Lord in prayer, the more we will see the absurdity of setting ourselves up as the self-righteous judges of others. Remember what He taught about taking the huge plank out of our own eye before being concerned with the tiny speck in someone else’s. (Matt. 7:3-5)” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

 

 “Often the sins we notice most clearly in others are the ones that have taken root in us. If we look closely at ourselves, we may find that we are committing the same sins in more socially acceptable forms...that definite distinction that Christians make between hating sin and loving the sinner is one that you have been making in your own case since you were born. You dislike what you have done, but you don’t cease to love yourself.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 2:1, C. S. Lewis)

 

“If we don’t have real love in our hearts as a result of a life dedicated to a relationship with God as our highest priority, it is impossible to truly deal with our own sin and the sins of others. When we are filled with God’s love, recognition of our own sin moves us to heartfelt sadness and then repentance. Without God’s love, recognition of our sin can lead us to a form of distorted self-judgment. This is a manifestation of pride since we are playing judge with ourselves which is to usurp God’s position and authority. He alone is our judge. When we think like this instead of mercy and compassion, we tend to apply the same judgment to others when we recognize their sin.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

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