What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” I Corinthians 5:12-13

Paul is sharing some pretty strong words with the church. Maybe he heard some of the same things that I hear every now and then: “Who are you to judge me?”

Paul would say “We are the church, it is our job to judge those inside the church.”

Why? Because God is jealous for his bride. It is the primary way that the kingdom moves on earth. When the church is functioning correctly, there is nothing like it. When it is falling apart, the kingdom suffers. Keeping each other in check keeps the church healthy.

I am currently training for another mini-marathon. Several times a week my body judges itself. My brain takes readings from my legs and say things like “Legs, you are looking good, keep running.” Side note: no one else tells my legs they are looking good, maybe there is something to that. There are times on runs where I decide if I am going to pick up the pace, have a harder workout. At that point, my brain has to make judgements on my legs, heart, lungs – everything. If I have not been taking care of myself, my brain makes quick judgements. “Yea, we would be all clear except that last night big running boy here decided to eat half a Domino’s pizza. We judge him slow, misdirected, weak, and highly inconsiderate.”

Rewind to the night before. As I am contemplating a late night snack (which happens most nights), my mind begins to judge my body. It judges according to the standards that I am currently under; all energy and eating is directed toward running this race. My brain now has the job of judging. I contemplate some heavy eating at night and know I have a run the next morning. Judgement time. And it well should be. My mind is not pulling a power trip, it’s job is to keep the whole body healthy.

The same is true of the church. When we correctly judge each other, it is to make the whole body better, to make the church healthier. When the church is healthy, it functions better, when it functions better, the kingdom moves.

God, forgive me for avoiding judgement. I avoid judging and avoid wanting to be judged. As long as it is for your kingdom and for your growth, I will embrace it, as hard as that is. May your bride be fit and beautiful, and may your kingdom come.

[tags]life journal, judging, church, running, mini-marathon,God[/tags]

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