We are quick to condemn the actions of others. Take for example an alcoholic who drives drunk and gets in an accident. Whether or not anyone is injured, most people will condemn this person. However, I would like to present the case that we should forgive. Not just because we are Christians, but because we too are sinners.
Jesus tells us that of the commandments of Moses’ law, the greatest is to love God with all of our mind, heart, body and soul. The second is to love our neighbor as we do ourselves. Jesus teaches this to us in Matthew 22, verses 34-40. Yet, these exact words are written in much earlier scripture.
In John 8, we learn the story of a young woman who was condemned to death because she was caught in the act of adultery. Yet when Jesus was presented with her case, he did not condemn her. He told the crowd that was to stone her to death that if anyone around her was without sin, that they should be the one to cast the first stone. No one could bring themselves to do it. This was not because they were unable to, but because they knew that they too were sinners.
If Jesus, the perfect man, the living son of God, would not condemn the woman, then when should we condemn others? The Bible has an answer:
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)
In Old Testament law, we are told exactly when to condemn our brothers and sisters. Never.