When we go to church, what do we see? More often than not, the sins of the people, the pastor, his wife, the elders, deacons, congregation, etc., are the 'light show' for the day. We try so hard not to judge but then Aunt Nosybody says something to us about 'that woman' and how she is dressed and we're off and running. What's wrong with this picture?
Ask yourself how Jesus would see that person. Well, we know that one, don't we? Is 'that woman' the one who was caught sleeping with the elder? Remember the story of Jesus and the woman found in the act of commiting adultery?
John 8:3-12, "And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
How did the Lord perceive this woman? Instead of listing all of her sins thus condemning her, He just said, 'where are your accusers?'. When none were found, He told her to go and sin no more. He didn't look on her as sinful. He saw though the eyes of love.
When looking at the faults of others, we are in no way looking to the Lord. How can we? Our eyes are focused elsewhere into the darkness of sin. Jesus is not there. But if we look AT Jesus, how can we see the sins? Let's begin to grow up in the Lord now, stopping the judging through sinful eyes. Sadly, the church wants only to 'correct' the sinner, for the most part. After all, the act of sin is sensational, something we crave so much. You don't think so? The next time you go past an accident or fire, are you going slowly because the authorities on the scene are wanting that or because you just HAVE to see what's going on? Please don't kid yourself. Most people want to see the gore, the damage. Then they can click their tongues and remark on how awful it is while thanking the Lord it isn't them. If you TRULY look through the eyes of love, you will pray for that person and the family. Yes, the drunk driver too. Yes, the arsonist too. That's looking at a person through the eyes of love.
If we look at the person and all we see is the sin, then we're as wrong as the sinner. What's the answer? Look to the Lord. Then once our eyes are firmly planted on Jesus, look THROUGH His eyes and see what He sees. Is this possible, you ask? Yes. Look at your family, friends, fellow church members with the eyes of compassion and love. When you see someone that way, no matter what they may have done, you are seeing through the eyes of Jesus because that's Who He is. If that were not true, then why did He die on the cross for us?
Does this sound like I'm pounding something into your head? I hope so. If enough people who claim to be Christians will do this, the church will grow up instead of cruising along, becoming the lukewarm, pew-sitting group of people in an edifice that it is now. Do NOT be mistaken in believing that the church is the building you go to faithfully every Sunday morning. The church just happens to be the body of believers in Christ Jesus. GROW UP, CHURCH!