Journey and Judgment

He said I was “way off base” with two of my blog comments recently: “it’s about the journey, and not the destination,” and “we aren’t here to judge others.”

We were enjoying a leisurely dinner last week, but he felt like he needed to speak up. “That’s the problem with today’s world. Everyone is all about the journey and nothing much gets accomplished. People think they can float through life and not take responsibility for themselves.”

“And what about my comment on judging others?” I ventured.

“Another problem with today’s world. We’ve lost the concept of sin and wrongdoing. Anything anyone wants to do is okay; there’s no moral compass anymore.

We’ve been friends a long time, and I realized that we weren’t having a difference of opinion, we were having a difference of definition.

In our “sound byte” world, we live in incomplete sentences and fractured conversations. My shorthand comments about journeys and judgment had definitely been misunderstood.

I was glad that I had a relaxing dinner to continue the conversation and clarify my phrases:

“When I said ‘it’s about the journey and not the destination,’ I meant that we should rely on God to show us one step at a time, trusting Him for what we need and to be with us every step of the way. I never meant that we shouldn’t also delight in the destination, but walking with God in His timing is more important than plunging headstrong to reach our goals.”

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“And when I said that we aren’t here to judge others, I meant that I have no right or ability to judge if you are following God’s will. Now if you are telling me you are having an affair with your next door neighbor, I’d say that judgment is in order, and I need to speak up. But If God tells you to sell all your possessions and move to Honduras, who am I to say that it isn’t what God wants you to do? It’s a fine line, but I believe that we can only rebuke someone when we are close friends, and we do it with love. Condemning strangers out of haughtiness and arrogance was never what Jesus had in mind.

I have to be more careful with my words. If I say one thing and you hear another, we’ve had a miscommunication that can damage our relationship. It’s all about the definitions.



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