In the area that I currently live in there is a standard that is expected nearly every time that a vehicle comes in the opposite direction towards you, you are expected to have your hand at the top of the steering wheel, and raise your index finger in a sort of “Hello” type of greeting. If this procedure is not followed, you are seen as unfriendly, and if it is not continued in, you will in a sense be judged as one that is not a part of the community, you have not fulfilled the prescribed method of the social construct of the geographical area.
I know, it sounds ludicrous, but it is true, a simple wave of the hand and you are accepted, continue to not adhere to the standard and you are judged as one not of the citizenry, you are unfriendly. What is amazing is when these same individuals who think like this go to a different city, usually one of a much larger size, they return with judgmental views of that place in the negative. They are not friendly up there because they will not recognize the aforementioned social amenities. When they meet you on the street, in the market place or any of the other places within the prescribed area of this social region, most generally the greeting is “How are you,” instead of “Hello,” and of course you are expected to reply in like manner, “I’m good, how are you?” If one does not reply in the form of question about the health of the induvial who has set forth the first statement, then of course, you are judged as unfriendly once again.
I am afraid that I have never been very good at this game, in the large family that I grew up around, including many relatives, when one of us might happen to run a little short of cash one week, offers of money were always given. The proper response of course was to say something like, “No, thanks, but thanks anyway, I’ll be fine,” and then the game, as it were would begin. “Here, go on, you can pay me back in a couple of days,” “No, really I can do without till I get paid,” and on and on until of course you took the money, said thanks and then went about your business. By the way, I usually just accepted the money, said “Thanks,” and then of course was not looked fondly upon because I did not play the game as it was intended to be played. Now, if someone around here says “How are you” and I reply only with the word “Well,” I have not played the game, and so I am judged as not being friendly.
This is how simple minded, if you will excuse what you might consider being judgmental, the lost are. There are twelve instances of the word “simple” in the King James Bible, and all of them but three are in the Psalms or Proverbs. It means someone who is easily deceived or persuaded. Never are they meant in a derogatory term, but always in one that infers this person is in need of wisdom, and not the wisdom of the world. It is the world that has made them to believe that if a person is not friendly according to the standards that they, and inevitably the world has placed upon their thought processes, then that person is judged as an unfriendly person. They are being judgmental according to the world’s standards.
As we have discussed briefly in some of the preceding letters in this series on judging, we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are never to use our own judgements when judging anyone, it is the Word of God that convicts the soul of a man, He is the only judge, we are simply to tell those who are in error the Words of the Scriptures so that they can correct the path that they are on. If they see us as being judgmental for doing so, then so be it. We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves, and we would hope that if not the lost, then our brothers and sisters in Christ would see the fault that is within us and wound us faithfully as friends. (Prov. 27:6) The lost will of course judge us in accordance with the prescribed methods that the world has set upon them, the world that at this current time the Lord God is allowing Satan to run, and so their words should not be anything that we pay much attention to in this area of our walk with Christ, though He can use them for our benefit. Raising my index finger up when a vehicle approaches me to recognize the existence of my fellow man is not going to make me any friendlier.
When the lost judge us, they are in a sense seeking something that they cannot find in themselves, something that they know is there, but they can’t quite grasp it. We know full well what they are seeking, at least in the lowest recesses of their souls, for God has placed it inside of them, He has placed eternity in their hearts, (Eccl. 3:11), but they will not admit it. Some of these individuals see us as better than them, closer to God if you will in their own minds, and they hate us for it. They believe that for whatever reason we have found favor with God and they have not, and since we do not fit in with them, we have no place with them, we have been judged as not good enough, not friendly enough, not like them. And believe it or not my brothers and sisters in Christ, that is a good thing. We are not to be conformed to this world, (Rom. 12:2) though we must live in it, and so those who will see Christ as Lord will experience exactly what the Lord said they would, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19) They will hate you.
You can forget about being friends with the world, anyone who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God. (John 4:4) We are to bear all of the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Gal. 5:22) I don’t see friendly in there anywhere, though it could easily be implied in many places in the Scriptures and is expected by our Lord of the believer. “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom. 12:18) The opposite of friendly is hostile, and we definitely do not want to be hostile with the lost, but we must always speak the truth in love, whether they see it as friendly or not. We know the end of those who will die in their sins, if we are judgmental in any way, shape or form, we will only drive them away, but we must also remember, they are simple minded, though they may be extremely wise in the wisdom of the world, a wisdom that the Lord will show for what it is, foolishness. (1st Cor. 3:19)
Let them judge you in the ways of the world, everyday if they want to, your final judge will take none of this into account when you stand before Him. But you must always try to keep in mind that day that they will stand before Him and do and say everything that the Scriptures say we are to do for them, love them. Our judgement is not our own, it is of God, their judgement is of the world, and we all know which judge in the end will render the final statement.