Saturday, February 09, 2008

Do Not Judge

Today's church service is being held in multiple homes around the Chaska area. Those of you who are not able to attend one of the groups, feel free to participate anyway by listening to the podcast and adding your thoughts in the comments section below.

The podcast that we'll be working from is HERE... You can either stream it live or download it. Several times during the podcast, there will be times to pause the audio for discussion in your groups. You can follow the outline below for your discussion times.

Traditional Righteousness:

Mt 7:1 “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged.
Mt 7:2 For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged.

  • Describe a situation when you have seen your judgment of others come back to haunt you. In other words, have you found yourself to be judged by the standard which you hold others to?
  • Does Jesus mean that we can’t make any ethical judgments about right and wrong?

Vicious Cycle:

Mt 7:3 And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?
Mt 7:4How can you think of saying, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?

  • What groups of people do we automatically exclude? Who do we not have the capacity to see as human, worthwhile, or good? What blinders do we have in our own eyes that prevent us from seeing others authentically?
  • We also do this with individuals…Which pet sins do we condemn? Which sins do we ignore that are more socially acceptable?
  • Discuss this quote by Dale Allison: “Human beings unhappily possess an inbred proclivity to mix ignorance of themselves with arrogance toward others.”

The Way Out:

Mt 7:5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

  • Sometimes we err on the side of being over-critical or over-condemning. Other times we err on the side of ignoring the problems we see within our relationships and our community. How do we find balance?
  • Discuss Dallas Willard’s (The Divine Conspiracy) guidelines for correcting someone. Are these helpful? Would you add or subtract anything?
    • Always start with the benefit of the doubt – if there is any question about whether sin occurred or offense was intended, assume it did not
    • Not everyone is called to correct – those who are living and working in a Holy Spirit inspired/empowered way have the right (and the capacity) to correct with love
    • It is not a matter of “straightening them out” or threatening punishment if they don’t change…It is a matter of restoration – nothing is to be done that isn’t intended to bring restoration and help people on their path to kingdom living
    • Those who are doing the correcting do it with the full knowledge that they have now created a standard which they will be held accountable to. This removes any sense of superiority or self-righteousness because they know full well that they may find themselves doing the same thing someday.
  • What would happen if we actually lived this way? Can we live this way?


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