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Don’t Judge Me!

April 30, 2017

It’s a common refrain these days, but it’s been around since the beginning. Fear of judgment, fear of being weighed and found wanting. In fact it was Eve’s motivation for the first sin.

You might think that the first sin was Eve eating the forbidden fruit, but it wasn’t. The fruit came from the tree that granted knowledge of right and wrong. Whether you believe it was literal or symbolic, or both, it doesn’t matter (though if you don’t think food can alter the state of your mind, you should talk to my nephew about his love for certain mushrooms).

Prior to the mind altering experience, Adam and Eve were, in essence, driven by instinct. Nothing was off base for them, other than the forbidden fruit, they were as unself-conscious as a dog or cat. They were motivated by stimulus-response, like your pet. I’m not saying the weren’t smart; we have smart dogs, pigs and dolphins; Adam and Eve were a good deal smarter. They knew not to eat the fruit the way Thunder knows not to do dookie in the house; he’ll be disciplined if he does.

In the pet scenario, Grizzly, our Chihuahua, is Satan and Thunder is Eve. Grizz uses puppy-pads because he’s afraid of hawks; Thunder has tried that, but he’s barked at (by us) and knows the consequences.

Eve was tempted, but without the knowledge of good and evil, it wasn’t sin. Ah, but once she gained the knowledge of good and evil, she knew what she had done. She became self-conscious and feared judgment. The first sin is when Eve offered Adam the fruit, knowing it was wrong, hoping to share the blame. (Let no one make hay that sin is women’s fault; if Adam had gone first, he’d have done the same thing. Some denominations like to say the first sin was Adam not leading his wife. Bosh. You can’t lead without knowing the dangers of evil. Eve represents people, not a gender).

Something new had been introduced to humanity. Instead of instinct, or stimulus-response, it was now reason; stimulus-consideration-response. Some instincts are intact; fight-or-flight, instant reaction to pain, but for the first time, Adam and Eve had to ask, “is this right or wrong?”

“We are naked, Lord.” We are exposed, and we don’t like it. We have done wrong and you’re going to judge me. And he did judge them.

Was this awful of God? He knew the fruit was going to be salad for them. But here’s the thing. Pets are wonderful. They love without judgment (because they don’t know good from evil), but they don’t rationally love. If you feed and water them, treat them well, and don’t abuse them, they will “love” you. They have no choice.

Now think about if they knew right from wrong. Consider all they’ve seen; consider them judging you for what they know about you. All the food and care in the world won’t make them love you; now they have a choice. Most of us wouldn’t have dogs anymore.

That’s what God gave us. The ability to reject him. Because without that ability, it ain’t really love.

Today the knowledge of good and evil seems really screwed up. The cry of “Don’t Judge Me” is shouted loud and long. They’re right of course. We don’t have the right to judge one another, because we are not without sin ourselves.

But we do.

In our heart of hearts, we judge. All these movements of “my sin isn’t wrong!” works to a point. We don’t outwardly judge (thank goodness), but inwardly, yeah, admit it, we do. We may argue with ourselves, we may delude ourselves, but we know.  That’s wrong. Whatever it is. The fruit gave us that ability.

It goes back to my last post. “I’m unlovable!” plus “Don’t judge me!” equals, “I’m unlovable but love me anyway!”

We couldn’t if God didn’t first love us; that he does means we must.

But not judging doesn’t take the sin away; the unlovelyness. We can gloss it over, but eventually we’ll come up against the one who has the right to judge. Let him take the sin away first. Repent and believe that Jesus is enough. Because he HAS taken your unlovelyness and made you lovely.

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