The mantra these days seems to be the Biblical principle of, "Judge not, and you will not be judged." This seems to mean you have carte blanche on what ever you do or can get away with. The quote, "No matter what I do, don't judge me on it, because you don't know my heart," seems to be coming from a lot of people today. However, those of us who use these slogans to do our deeds are missing the point. We're not judging hearts here, because we can't. A lot of times we can't even know our own hearts, but what we can know are the actions that come from the heart.
Undoubtedly, there will be a few who will say, "What's the difference?" There's no way we can know what's on the hearts of our fellow man, but his deeds will tell us. The people who use this excuse are trying to justify their actions, by telling us even though their deeds maybe questionable, in their hearts, they know their deeds are pure - the end justifies the means.
Lets look for a moment at this argument. I'm a good man, with a good heart, and I go into a store to rob it because my family is starving. I would be vindicated of my deed, because the store manager robs his customers by way of cheating them and profiteering on hard-to-find items, in times of need. In the eyes of the law, it is still a crime, regardless of how good my heart is, or what my intensions are. It also doesn't follow logically that if a person is good, with a good heart, that they would do something that is deemed illegal in the eyes of the law. In fact, just the opposite will most likely happen. A person will find work or hold down two jobs to put food on the table for their family. We have a code here folks, "Don't steal." Stealing is never justified in the eyes of the Lord; in fact when in doubt, if we think our Father in Heaven frowns will on it, DON'T DO IT! This all boils down to relativism; whatever is best for you, do it. But this line of thinking flies in the face of God. It leaves us with no standards, no basis for law, and no absolutes.
The Lord has given us a conscience. We know what is right, we know what is wrong. He also has given us permission to ask for His help when gray invades our decision-making. Still we come back to our good and pure hearts. Christ told the Pharisees, and the rest of us, that if we have sinned in our hearts, it's the same as the act taking place in reality. He told them this to show that no man's heart is pure, all are away from God.
Another comment that gets tossed about so carelessly is, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." Again, we see this as carte blanche to sin abundantly, only this time they are mistaken when they think that Christ blessed this action. The story is the woman caught in adultery. The Pharisees caught this poor woman in the act, and brought her to Jesus to deliberately try to trick Him. When they asked Christ what they should do, Jesus makes the above statement. What the user of this story fail to mention or see is, the mercy and grace that came from our Lord. Jesus was the only person there who could have thrown the first stone. Yet, He offered mercy and grace to her. This is seen in the last sentence, "Go and sin no more."
We must remember, if we quote the Bible to support our arguments, make sure you know what the context of the scripture says, for the word is sharper than a two edged sword, and it cuts both ways. Don't use God's words to validate your evil deeds: He won't honor them, no matter how pure you think your heart is.
Finally, there is a day coming where deeds won't be judged, but hearts will. You won't be able to say, "you don't know my heart, you can't judge me!" because the Lord will say, "I made your heart, and I know it better than yourself!" Like the woman who was caught in the indiscretion, let's accept our Papa's mercy and grace while we still can. The day will come when those who have not accepted mercy and grace will suffer the consequences of the law. I don't want that for any of my family, friends, or strangers on the road. Accept His mercy, and live by His grace, before we have no more days.
Read more articles by Jim Fulton or search for articles on the same topic or others.