“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
We were all good friends. We had the BBQs, the late nights, the pool parties. Life was moving right along, a happy couple, so it seemed. And then one day it happened, out of the blue, adultery…divorce. All of us that knew them were shocked. Our heads were spinning, what happened? What was she thinking? What did he do? Do I choose a side? What do I say to her?
It’s been several years now that those close friends of mine faced probably one of the most difficult seasons in their lives. The wife had cheated on her husband and the husband was fighting to save their marriage. I found myself, still fresh from my own insecurities in marriage, choosing sides. I felt like I was in a battle having to determine which side I was going to fight for. In this case I chose to let my emotions take over and push away a very dear friend.
Adultery, addiction, whatever it is that destroys marriages not only affects just 2 people but entire families, extended families, and friends. In laws, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, church friends, non church friends, so many people are affected. Recently I learned of two families that were being torn apart by adultery. The enemy had invaded and sin was taking over. Battle lines were being drawn, people were taking sides, angry words and gossip were being exchanged. The hate was spreading like wildfire. Things would be forever changed for these families.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in matters that are not our own. Our emotions take over and it causes us to be blinded. It causes us to bring anger and hate into our own homes, to show our children what gossip looks like and how to deal with the harsh realities of life in a non Christ like way. So, how do we separate from family matters that do not involve us? How do we set boundaries and protect our people? How do we show grace and love to both sides?
The thing is that we cannot let our emotions take over our judgment. Showing grace in these times is the last thing that we want to do, but the most important thing to do. We are called to love, not to condemn. We have to show others, especially our kids, what Jesus would do. Would Jesus publicly shame? Would he gossip about the wrong that had been done? No, Jesus would forgive and ask them to follow him because the cross was enough.
We need to show our support for healing and love by praying and encouragement through our words. Our marriages, our children come first and if we bring in other people’s issues, we are letting the enemy take root in our own homes.
Who are we to judge? Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-2:
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
Meaning that you need to be careful because when it’s your turn on the “sin meter”, how would you like to be judged? The person at fault will get their time in judgment just like you and me. The one thing that we need to remember is that their sin is no bigger than our own sin. This is the time when we need to surround ourselves with other strong minded believers and as a body, we should pray for those being affected and keep our distance until God shows us what to do next. It can be difficult to distance from a really tight knit family, but I believe that God will put it on your heart what needs to be done in order to protect those closest to you. The enemy will seek to destroy in any capacity.
God is in control and no matter what we have to say, it’s His decision at the end of the day. The only thing that we can do is to pray for His will to be done. We need to pray for restoration of hearts, of souls, and of families. And most of all we need to speak love for everyone involved.
Years ago, I chose not to speak love, but to condemn instead. I shunned my dear friend and I regret it to this day. I pray that one day I can ask for forgiveness from her and remind her that God loves her despite what she has done, just like He loves me in spite of all of the things that I have done.
We all have families and we all have families with issues. Some issues are ours to deal with and some are for us to pray for at a distance. The best thing that we can do is to offer spiritual support and guidance, to speak in love and to show grace. Look, we all fall short and we all need a Savior, PERIOD.
Lord, I pray for all of those around me that are broken and lost. I pray for repentance of sin and a restoration of hearts and families. It is by your GRACE that I am healed and I will be forever thankful. In your name I pray, AMEN.