“16 And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.'” Gen. 2:16-17
I would like to make a confession to my Christian brothers and sisters, and to anyone else that cares to listen.
There recently came a day when I realized that I am guilty of a very dark and addictive sin. I studied the Bible every night. For a year I prayed for a minimum of one hour a day, and I fasted every Friday. I didn’t say a single cuss word for 11 years straight. I spoke in tongues, and I prophesied. I have never done drugs or been drunk. I’ve been around the world preaching the gospel in public. I learned inductive Bible study. I’ve only ever had one girlfriend. My first kiss was with my wife after I married her. I studied and maintained all evangelical Christian dogma. If you want someone who met the measure of popular Christian standards, I promise you I met them.
I didn’t have a single “unsaved” friend in my life. In fact, I didn’t have a single non devout friend in my life. I was quick to distance myself from anyone who I didn’t believe to be holding their relationship with God as the highest priority.
In fact I “stood up for righteousness” by confronting my brothers who were in sin, or believed “false theology”. I distanced myself from those who didn’t heed my admonishments, and who didn’t seem to “truly care” about their relationship with God. All of this came from my personal understanding of good and evil.
I trusted MY ability to point out sin to help disciple and move others to repentance. I “needed” them to see their sin (evil) so they could be closer to God (good).
The truth is I didn’t trust God to heal them. I didn’t trust the very God, His Holy Spirit, who dwells inside them, who loves them so much He’d let them kill Him on a cross, I didn’t trust Him to heal their their heart and move them closer to Him in their (God’s and their) time.
God reserved the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil for himself. He is the only one that is capable of both love and judgement. And when I judge my brother or sister then I am guilty of eating of the forbidden fruit, I’m guilty of focusing on religion and not relationship, and I choose to step in front of God and attempt to do what only He is able to do. God is the only one able to judge, and His judgement looks like Him allowing us to hang Him on a cross, murder him, and He still forgive us.
It is my job to see every person as God sees them: as worth dying for.
I am sincerely sorry, with all of my heart, for anytime that I have judged you. For anytime that I failed to show you God’s love. For anytime I failed to walk next to you to you, with you, as we walk toward God. I repent of stepping in front of God and trying to be “the judge”. Please forgive me for failing to see you as God sees you.
God sees you and judges you as worth dying for, and so do I.
I hope that your heart finds inspiration today. Let’s go get tacos!
God Bless You,
*Thoughts inspired by the book "Repenting of Religion" by Gregory Boyd