Judgment is easy. We make judgments all the time. We judge ourselves, we judge others, and we even judge God. We decide and determine what is right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, righteous or unrighteous, sacred or sinful, proper or improper, correct or incorrect, like or dislike. Then, we decide and determine what correction is needed – we accuse, warn, scold, harass, argue, plead, persuade, reason with, and rail against those whom we judge to be in the wrong. Finally, we decide and determine how others should be corrected and held accountable – judgment then leads to condemnation, punishment, execution, excommunication; cursing, damning, cutting off, shutting up, kicking out.
Yes, judgment is easy. We have experienced what it means to be judged by others and we have struggled to defend ourselves against those judgments. Some of us have become experienced in how to judge others. We have such an acute sense of justice and judgment.
But God’s righteous judgment is in a realm far removed from ordinary human judgment. Our judgment is destructive and punitive; God’s righteous judgment is redemptive and restorative. Nowhere is this more evident than in John 8. To the woman on the verge of being stoned to death for adultery, Jesus says, “I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.” His perfectly balanced word brings hope to all who are judged guilty and worthy of death but find that in Him, “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” The only One Who is truly sinless and qualified to judge refuses to condemn the guilty. And no one can condemn or judge whomever the Son makes free. Learning to love like that is the point of this book. Slaves of sin may find it impossible to receive that kind of love; but sons and daughters of God should find it impossible to withhold it.