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Rethinking snap judgments
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I have a confession to make, and it concerns a news report I heard recently. As I was driving home I heard on the news that a pastor of one of the largest churches in American is being accused of a horrible crime.
My first response was, “Oh, no, there goes another pastor falling from grace.” The Lord quickly reminded me of the scripture found in Matthew 7 where Jesus spoke about the issue of judging. He tells us that we need to judge fairly and that we should judge in a way that we want others to judge us.
This particular pastor has not been convicted but only accused of these crimes and sinful activity. It could end up that he is guilty or it could end up that these accusations could be trumped up because of revenge or some other reason.
This statement leads to another issue, and that is that some could be judging the accusers ahead of time without knowing the facts. They are also innocent unless proven guilty. It is so easy to jump to conclusions and take sides.
Just because someone is accused doesn’t make them guilty – even Jesus was accused falsely of sins and crimes He didn’t commit. We have to be careful even if the media reports something to be true because they get it wrong sometimes. When people talk and the stories go from one person to the other they sometimes get twisted and reworded and reinterpreted.
So what should our response be towards this pastor or someone else we could be prejudging? Above all else we should pray for them; if they are guilty, that they would repent and confess. And if they are innocent, that God would give them grace and courage to get through this persecution and trial.
Concerning what we say, there are times we need to confess for our participation in gossiping and ask for forgiveness even for our thoughts of prejudgment. A right response is motivated by love of God and of our fellowman.

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