Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in adultery, affair, fallenness, jesus, judgment, repentance, sin | Posted on 16-08-2012
Jesus knew we were judgmental people. He even had to make sure it became part of the permanent record: “Judge not, that you not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1, ESV)
Now, before you start up with discernment vs. judgment, let me give you my hillbilly definition of judgment vs. discernment.
Let’s say you just heard Billy Bob cheated on his wife. You say, “Oh my.” In your “Oh my,” you’re thinking, “that’s terrible, I feel sorry for his wife and kids. I hope everyone is okay. That’s such a tough sin to get through.”
Hey, guess what? That’s discernment. That’s knowing what is right from wrong.
But the next thing you say is, “Well, I’d never do that. Billy Bob is such a scoundrel. He’s dirtier than dirt. Why he’s lower than the scum on Satan’s boots. I think I’m gonna pick up the phone and tell everyone/Twitter this/post this on Facebook and let everyone know what a jerk he is.”
That’s judgment. Thinking others to be lower than ourselves because of a sin they committed. The same Bible that we find, “You shall not commit adultery” in also contains “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, ESV)
None of us are any better than anyone else. Some of us have been justified by Christ, but we’re not better. But man, do we get judgmental. It’s a sin to be judgmental of someone.
When I was a pastor, I had a judgmental streak. I still have an overwhelming sense of justice. That part isn’t so bad, but when it turns to judgmentalism, it’s very bad. If I saw sin, I’d want it gone. Which is good. But I’d go about doing it in a bad way. Not just that, I’d have this self-righteous feeling about myself the entire time. Like I was better than the person sinning.
After I fell, most of that went away. It’s amazing what a great fall can do to you. It’s phenomenal how experiencing the grace of God can transform you into someone who just wants to love sinners more. I get emails from fallen pastors frequently. I just want to help them. Before my fall? I probably would have thought, “That lousy guy couldn’t keep himself straight? Pitiful.”
Read more after the jump…..
Many of you know I’m a fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Recently, I wrote an article about Bobby Petrino, former head coach. Seems he was out riding his motorcycle with someone who wasn’t his wife and whom he had been having an affair with. He got fired.
He did an interview with ESPN a few days ago in which he expressed remorse over his actions. I watched sports broadcasters talk about it. Most of them thought he was faking because Coach Petrino doesn’t have the best track record in telling the truth. He cried in the interview a bit and seemed sincere to me about putting the pieces back together.
One thing really struck me. He got emotional when he said this: “I’m going to keep my life in better balance. And I really feel I’ll be a better coach because this happened, because now I know that I’m going to coach the person as much as the player and help the person who has made mistakes, help him understand that he is not going to be defined by the mistakes he has made but how he reacts to it and overcomes it.”
I heard him say he had learned something about judgmentalism. He learned that people need to be cared for after they mess up and dealt with regarding how they respond to their failures. He’s talking about grace, in a way.
I learned a lot about grace after my fall from ministry. God forgave me, loved me and put me on the right path again. And in turn, I try and show that same grace to those who fall. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but one that should be practiced by us all – before we fall too far.