Most of the time, in my humble opinion, the verse is quoted out of context. Folks in our world today don't want to hear that something they are doing, or saying, or wearing, or watching, or thinking, or believing is wrong.
Can't we just all get along?
The ethos of that sentiment is summed up in the famous (and often quoted) song lyrics, 'If loving you is wrong, I don't wanna be right.'
We don't want other people telling us what to do. You're not the boss of me!
Okay...I get it.
However, just consider this for a moment:
There are over six billion people on this planet; leaving out terrible things like murder, rape and the like, it's mathematically reasonable to assume that with so many people, someone somewhere is going to say or do something that you don't like. The first time it happens, you ignore it; the second time, you shrug it off; the third time, your eyebrows dip together and your lips purse but you bite your tongue. Finally, after some number of times when one or more people do or say something that just continues to get under your skin, you burst.
"Excuse me sir, the sign clearly says ten items or less. What part of ten or less don't you understand?"
I'm sorry, but isn't that a tad judgmental? I mean, it may be that the person overwhelming the express lane with eighteen items has an invalid parent at home and only has a finite time to shop and return home?
Are you really in that big of a hurry (or borderline OCD) that you can't let one person go with a few extra items?
What are the most popular shows on television? People judging other people. What does that mean? Is it OK for some people to judge me because they have some nebulous level of gravitas that grants them the right to pass judgement?
I don't watch reality shows much but occasionally I'll catch a segment. I heard someone on one of them, I can't remember which, answer the judge, 'That's your opinion,' after the judge had pronounced them horrible.
I can imagine the judge thinking at that moment, 'Yes, and I get paid a lot of money to give it to you.'
The fact is, in my opinion - and likely millions of others - this person could not sing a lick. Yet throughout their lives, people around them had not judged them; had not told them that they couldn't sing.
If you attend church long enough, especially in the south, someone is going to ask you about joining the choir. The Bible does tell us that we are to make a joyful noise to the LORD, but there are those of us - me included - who need to do that as quietly as possible and certainly not on stage in front of others.
So, we can assume, this particular contestant had been told throughout her life that the joyful noise she was making was good. And then at some point, at least one person told her it was so good, she needed to get on this reality show. And somehow she made it past the auditions and into the first round, after which the well paid judges said, 'No, not really.'
So who is guilty here?
Is the contestant guilty because she believed that she could sing? Honestly, there are times when I sing along with the radio or CD player in the car and think, 'Hey, I sounded pretty good there.'
But there are MILES between hitting a note here or there, briefly, accidentally, catching that harmony in the car like a lightning bug in a jar, and singing a Capella on stage in front of three scowling judges just waiting to pick you apart.
Personally, I blame the family and friends. These are the people who would have sat around listening to the budding contestant singing and said, "Hey, that's good."
These same folks would have heard this young lady say, 'I'm thinking of going on such and such show.' and said, "Seriously, I think you should."
Anyone remember this guy?
Maybe the friends were thinking, 'Hey, she could be the next William Hung!'
More likely, they were infected with don't judge disease.
Self esteem has become the coin of the realm these days and if you take someone's self esteem, it's off to the stocks with you!
Punished for his attire no doubt...
Heaven forbid we be the one to let the cat out of the bag:
No, you sing like a cat locked in a burlap sack.
Yes; don't wear pants like that...ever.
If you want to look like Billy Ray Cyrus when he was twenty, go for it!
Are we judging? No, not really, we're just speaking - offering our opinions. And along with everything else there is a time and a place for that.
The Bible says we are to speak the truth in love. Which is likely one of the most difficult things the Bible asks us to do, right up there next to love your neighbor as yourself.
So seriously, the next time I mention that you shouldn't do something, wear something, go somewhere, be with someone, watch something, listen to a particular song or whatever, I'm not judging you...
I am just speaking the truth in love.
'The Truth shall set you free.'
What do you think?