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with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People

March, 2016


Judgments and Opinions ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: March 7th, 2016 | Category: Common Sense, Inspirational, Love, Truth | Comments


Judgments and opinions are in some ways quite different while in other ways they are very much alike. Judgments are considered decisions leading to sensible conclusions. Opinions are judgements which are not necessarily based upon facts or knowledge. The outcome of judgements can carry legal penalties of various sorts and some opinions might well have social consequences of similar severity. Some people are paid or ordered to judge others in criminal or civil disputes and it’s safe to presume that God endorses some of those laws. Other people might receive great rewards for their opinions. God isn’t necessarily backing those where He’s been left out of the discussions. It’s important to know that God holds ALL judges to a very strict standard, one in which those who judge will one day be held equally accountable for all of their actions and judgments, but to God. “The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt. Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” “No one, Master.” “Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”” John 8:6-11 MSG.

There is no mention in this scripture regarding the meaning or purpose of Jesus writing in the dirt. Apparently no one cared much about what He wrote in the dirt but everyone wanted to hear what He had to say. They wanted to hear the Word. What we finger scratch into the dirt or sand of our times (like this article) is temporary at best, while the Word of God is eternal. “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” No one did or could. There was only one sinless person there that day and He said to the accused, “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” “No one, Master.” “Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.” Judging for us is at best a severely flawed process, yet it must be good enough for the laws which we have written into play for ourselves. Jesus our perfect example, didn’t judge, nor did He endorse or acquiesce to our sins. Jesus excels at allowing us to realize the profound nature of our own insubordination, when He can simply get us to put ourselves in the position of being judged or of being the accused. Drawing in the dirt was more a tactic of timing consideration during which all attention was directed toward what He would say next. Everyone was listening. No one should misunderstand. The witnesses were attentive. God (unlike us) knows all and forgets nothing, which is the only way to judge perfectly. None of us here can do that. So none of us should judge unless or until we are prescribed by our very own laws or circumstances to do just that. Even then, we should only judge the actions as proven against the letter of the laws they are to conform to. We should not judge the intent of the one whom we can never fully know or understand. That is for God alone. Abstaining is always an option for us. Being judged by either individual or corporate ignorance won’t sit well with anyone. Our opinions are generally inaccurate, juvenile, momentary judgements. We can wonder and consider, make choices and decisions for ourselves but our opinions will never be perfect. Rather far from it. We should be more open to our own fallibility and to the damage done to others during our vocal deliberations. This isn’t going to be easy for any of us but it’s important for each of us to improve in this area. Here’s how. ““Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.” Matthew 7:12 MSG.


Love Without Faith? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: March 2nd, 2016 | Category: Common Sense, Faith, Love | Comments

How can love and faith not be brothers or sisters of the same blood? Can we have faith without love? Of course not, that’s part of the package. Can we offer (Agape) love without faith? If we understand the meaning we can’t. Isn’t saying I love you the same proffer as saying I have faith in you? That is after all, how love begins. For those who have not invested in the Greek language, Agape love is usually defined as:… read more