One on One With Jesus, Part 5

Actions of a Kingdom citizen

How to treat sinners 

Has it ever been said of you, ‘you’re quick to judge’? 

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.  

We use the phrase ‘judge not lest you be judged’ broadly and loosely. In this context, it is not used toward fellow believers; it used toward the unsaved. This is the person who has not yet received a new heart to love God, a new mind to know God, and a new will to obey God. 

It’s easy to view sinners with disgust and with disdain. Especially the ones that so clearly dress like sinners, act like sinners, and talk like sinners. Their faces are angry, their attitudes defiant and actions outrageous. Perhaps you can picture such a person right now. 

Such a person may simply walk by you on the street and immediately your mind might go to a place of judgment. All they did was walk by you. You can’t help but judge.  


But let’s take it a little further… 

In the context of this mentoring session in Luke 6 that Jesus is having with his newly minted disciples, he is training them on how to treat sinners. Specifically, sinners who take harmful action against them. 

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27, 28 

Jesus is giving us a clear reminder of the divisions of responsibilities. Specifically, what we are NOT responsible for. 


God’s Responsibilities toward sinners include: 

  • Judge – judgment is ultimately God’s responsibility. 
  • Condemner – Romans 8:34 
  • Forgiver – Romans 8:1 


Our Responsibilities toward sinners include: 

  • Share the gospel in word and deed 
  • It’s OK to point out that there is a Judge, but it’s not you. 
  • It’s OK to point out that they are a sinner, just like us. We all have a sin problem that ends badly 
  • God sent Jesus to save us by grace – there is no condemnation for those in Christ, Romans 8:1 
  • Receive Jesus by faith in humility – Ephesian 2:8,9 

It’s not easy to refrain from judgment of sinful non-Christians. Especially when non-believers in our lives are doing or saying something that hurts us or our loved ones. It’s really, really difficult to not judge them or condemn them. However, it is not our job. It’s not what we are called to do. 

As we close, prayerfully reflect on the apostle Paul’s commentary of Jesus’ teachings.  


Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head, (hopefully the conviction upon them will draw them to Jesus). Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21. 


Father, you have called us to be agents of reconciliation and not the ministry of judgment and certainly not condemnation. Cause us to guard our hearts and minds against disgust and disdain for non-believers. Instead, give us a heart to love them, and share the hope of Christ and the free gift of eternal life through Jesus, our Lord. Amen!