The irony of Mark Sanford's about face when it comes to politicians having an affair is beyond perfect. Thanks to video recording, we have a detailed account of what he believes a politician caught in an affair should do.
Ummm.... except when he does it.
This is why scripture tells us again and again not to judge... but we just can't stop ourselves because it is so damn satisfying.
It makes us feel righteous...
1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
What leads someone to repent?
Judgment brings defensiveness. Kindness is subversive. It breaks down defenses.
The thing is, it is easy to show kindness and refrain from judgment when it is someone you love.
For example: You become aggravated at the person who just cut you off on the road and you speed up so you can swing up along side them to give them a piece of your mind!
Then you see it is grandma... and all of your anger melts away. You forgive her offense because you love her.
You hold anger against a former friend because you remember the time they betrayed you - you think you will resent them forever. Then you hear she is dying and their family is grieving, and all you want to do is support their family, remember the good times, make it right.
This is why Jesus told us to love our enemies. When we love someone, we can offer grace that we could never offer to the other. In the Way of Jesus there is no other.
We are all loved ones.