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Daily Reading: Judges 17:1-18:31 ESV, John 3:1-21 ESV, Psalm 104:1-24 ESV, Proverbs 14:20-21 ESV

Daily Verse: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17 ESV)

KRINO (2919): “As a verb, means ‘to distinguish, choose, give an opinion upon, judge’ Sometimes denotes to condemn.  To separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose, hence, to approve, esteem, to prefer.  To pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong.”[i]

Pronounce an opinion.

Sadly, the church has a reputation for condemnation.  Instead of people recognizing Christ-followers by their love, they identify them by their judgments.  Jesus didn’t come to condemn; He came to save.  Our assignment doesn’t include condemning others; we have one task when it comes to loving people: love others as ourselves.

When we condemn others, we create an unhealthy space in the relationship.  Striving to understand leads to healthy relationships.

For instance, mental illness impacts how people react to situations.   According to a study completed in 2019, 51% of Americans live with undiagnosed mental conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.[i]  One out of two people has untreated issues impacting their relationships in America.  Maybe instead of condemning, we should work on understanding.

Chase grace.

Chasing grace means examining the possibilities, not only of their behavior but also mine, which then helps me love.  Questions I ask myself:

  • Why do their actions cause such an emotional response in me?
  • What motivates their actions (personal history, issues, mental or otherwise, etc.)?
  • What area of my life needs help? 
  • How can I love them best?

When someone has cancer, you naturally have more grace for them.  If you realize someone has distorted thinking caused by undiagnosed mental illness, you can forgive instead of condemn.  Unfortunately, seeing physical ailments makes empathy easier; we struggle with what we can’t see.

 Choose grace today, stop condemning, and seek to understand first.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 145) Thomas Nelson


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