One of the most widespread criticisms of Christians is that we are judgmental. We are told that we sit in the judge’s seat far too often, pointing fingers at those we deem unworthy. But if you think about it, as human beings we’ve all sat in both seats. We’ve sat in the seat of the judge, and we’ve sat in the seat of the judged. While we can all admit that it’s must easier to judge than it is to be judged, the truth is that nobody should be sitting in either seat. Jesus was very clear when He said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). Unfortunately, most people don’t understand what Jesus meant by this statement. Thankfully though, He goes on to explain what He means, and He has a message that those inside and outside the church both need to hear.
The truth of the matter is, most of us have some type of baggage we carry around with us all the time that we need to lose. This baggage weighs down our relationships with our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. It all too often destroys marriages, dissolves friendships, and damages our ability to relate properly to God. But the encouraging news for those of us who are tired of carrying it around is that we can lose our baggage. And not only can we lose our baggage, but we should lose our baggage. As followers of Jesus, we have been called to a higher standard in our relationships with others. We have a witness to maintain. We have a reputation to guard, because we don’t just represent ourselves; we represent the Lord. So, if we are going to represent Him well, we must take the necessary steps to lose our relational baggage.