Here’s a statement I’m going to just throw out there…
“You can’t judge a person on what they don’t say”…
What’s your initial response to this? Do you get it? Do you agree or disagree?
Let me explain what I mean.
I think we so often hear something that someone has said in church (or connect group, or work, or school, or wherever!) and we can come to a conclusion about what they believe (or don’t believe) based on what they HAVEN’T said. I think this is a really dangerous way to live.
Because as soon as we judge someone based on what they don’t say, we have judged someone internally which only God can do – “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). As soon as we start making judgements about what’s going on inside people, we subject ourselves to greater judgment (Luke 6:37).
Another reason I think it’s foolish to judge people for what they don’t say is taken straight from the Bible. Not a particular verse or passage, but the actual book. If we judged people on what they didn’t say… Paul’s revelation of Grace and Faith is vital, but incomplete without James’s revelation into Faith and Works. Does that mean Paul was wrong?! NO WAY! It just means that it takes more than one person, more than one time, in more than one place to present a whole truth. And even then, in our human capacity, there’s always bound to be something missing.
Just because someone doesn’t say something, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t believe it, or that they’re incorrect in what they do say. If we wanted everyone to say everything about particular subjects, we better get ready for some seriously long conversations.