Do not judge.
I’m sure many Christians are familiar with this instruction from Jesus to not judge one another before we take stock of our own issues.
The passage in Matthew 7 when read in context tells us that there are times to judge but that we must be careful and considerate of our own position.
Watching the news and reading the online press and trawling social media show us that it is rare that we all agree on any particular issue – can anyone remember Brexit?
Rarely has an issue been more polarising for our society, and yet as important as Brexit was and still is, it has been surely superseded by our current predicament of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This has provided us with another chasm of differing opinion – lift or maintain the lockdown. Whichever is the right decision only hindsight can judge but people’s opinions and feelings are understandably still running high.
It is worth remembering that we are all made differently, in fact we are all unique, and we will often differ on many things. Apart from a minority of society who may be driven by selfish motives, I would suggest that the majority are basing their opinions on worthy ones.
Some are in need of a return to work for the financial security of themselves and their loved ones, others are afraid on contracting and or spreading the virus, making safety their main concern, some are bewildered by a desire for both.
While all these opinions are valid, they are often polar opposites and as followers of Christ we are called to disagree well. Whatever our opinion or position we need to love others as we would like to be loved.
The bible talks of the fruit of the Spirit that dwells in every follower of Christ. That fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
If we can display these characteristics of Christ in our daily lives, we will be able to disagree well and debate for positive outcomes from opposite sides of a divide. We are right to debate and question, to suggest and provide alternative views, Jesus did much of this in his ministry.
So, as we disagree with one another, let’s not judge but be kind, gentle, patient, loving and full of self-control.
I am reticent to quote social media straplines but, in this moment, it is very apt, if you can be anything, be kind.