Assignment 1: Not Condemnation but Agape
Who are we to pour condemnation upon others? What are the negative results for the recipients of our condemnation and judgment? How does seeing the negative impact of condemnation help us more fully appreciate Jesus’s actions, reflected in Paul’s words: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus . . .” (Rom. 8:1 [NIV])?
How does refraining from condemning others help create a community of prayerful love? In Matthew 7:1–11, Jesus helps us understand agape love even further—by addressing it in terms of action. He shows us how “love behaves”—which excludes “condemning or blaming those around us (vv. 1-5)” (Willard 1998, 217).
In 400–500 words, post to the Discussion Area your response to the following:
When Jesus says “Judge not,” he means abandoning the practice of condemning and blaming. With every sinful bondage in life comes a freedom. What might freedom from condemning, blaming, and judging others look like? How might that release from a condemning and judgmental spirit within a person? What might the role of a small group be in that transformational process? How does refraining from condemning others help create a community of prayerful love? (And lastly, if you so choose, what might you practice in order to extend agape love rather than judgment?)