We are encouraged to eat from the Tree of Life, rather than from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Essentially, we are invited to choose life over death. This shouldn’t be a difficult choice, but it most definitely is. Why?
The world is run on judgement (right and wrong), and we are born into it. “Have an opinion” is the mantra of the 21st century. This mantra is very tempting because it appears to lift us up and put others down, satisfying our insecurity. The problem is, we usually judge people by “what” they do, blinding us from understanding “why” they do it. It is easy to judge the “what” that people do, and when we do, we are eating from the wrong tree, condemning them and ourselves. Our judgement brings us both down, and our judgement exposes the condition of our own hearts.
When we choose not to judge the “what”, we open up the opportunity to discover “why” they do it. Choosing not to judge, can lead to an understanding of the state of the heart, leading to freedom for them and ourselves. Refusing to judge lifts us both up.
Refusing to judge is the narrow path that winds its way between the self-righteous and the self-condemned. This path cannot be walked without Spiritual help. It is convenient then that Jesus is the Tree of Life, and the fruit of the Spirit is what he offers when we choose not to judge. This fruit builds the Kingdom of God in the hearts of his people, where He resides. Let’s set the “what” that people do free from our judgment, and ask for insight into the “why” of what people do. It just might set us free.