“Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.-Luke 6:37 CEB
I made the choice to join a gym. The gym I chose was Planet Fitness. As soon as I went in to get my “Black Card” I was instantly welcomed. They greeted me with a smile. They showed me the facilities and explained that this gym was a “Judgement Free Zone.” I can come in do my work out and not worry about others pointing out my flaws or weakness. I can be free to be who I am and grow at my own pace. With me being an out-of-shape 35-year-old guy that’s a plus. Getting access to a gym for $20 month isn’t bad either. All jokes aside, their policy on judging others is an awesome one.
I wish the body of Christ can truly adopt the same policy. So many people are turned off by the church because it is not a “Judgement Free Zone.” I’m not lumping all churches in the same category but we sometimes forgot how we got over. We forgot that it took time and effort to be who we are now in Christ. because of that, we tend to be judgemental of new people coming into the body of Christ. We look at others past and assume that we know what type of person they will be. We try to make them think like we think as soon as they finished new membership training. Someone had to teach us. Somone had to pray for us. someone had to see potential in us. That means we have to do the same for someone else who is growing in faith.
It is unreasonable for me to think I can run a ten-minute mile on the treadmill on my first day at the gym. It is also unreasonable to think that because someone joins the church on Sunday that they are ready to work on a committee on Monday. Being physically fit will take growth, hard work, and time. Being spiritually fit will also take growth, hard work, and time. Old gym rats and new gym rats are not perfect. New believers and old believers are not perfect. All the gym members have the same goals they want to be healthier. All church members have the same goals for being closer to Christ. So we have no room to judge or condemn one another.
Just because someone’s sin is different from yours does not mean that you are better than they are. You are still a sinner. When I start the gym there will personal trainers and gym members who are there to help me grow. They are there to coach me and encourage me so that I can be better. We as followers of Jesus are to be there for each other. We should coach, guide, and encourage one another towards a better relationship with Jesus. There will be times I will fall short in the gym and my diet. There will be times our friends may fall short on their faith journey. That’s why like Planet fitness, we should allow the body of Christ, the Church, to be a “Judgment Free Zone.” We are all in this together. I’m on the cusp of the millennial generation. We (People 35-21) are the future of the church. Just because our growth curve is different and how we worship is different does not mean we don’t have the same passion for Christ as people who are older. Be patient with us as we are growing into who we need to be for God and His church. We are all in this together. Let leave the judgment up to one who created us. Let’s work together to reach our goals. Let’s get spiritually fit together.