4Youtube has changed how we see the world. You can find a clip of almost anything.  Disasters, concerts, the occasional fly-off-the-handle moment of a celebrity, a humorous gaff from life TV, singing cats and chimpanzees doing the macarena.

But what happens when all we think about someone comes from a YouTube clip?

Recently I had a conversation with someone in which they were basing their judgment of an individual simply from a youtube clip.  The thing is, I had actually met this individual.  I have been around them and watched them operate in person.  Yet they were unfairly and inadequately dismissed as bad because something they said got posted.  And to be fair, it wasn’t a good moment for them.

But let me ask you: Are there some “clips” in your life you’d rather not have people see on youtube?  Have you ever said something out of hand that contradicted what you really believe?  Have you made disparaging remarks about someone or something that, if caught on a camera phone and quickly uploaded you’d hate for people to see?  That would be like voting for a president based on a 30 second attack ad. (Please don’t do that.)

Imagine God, instead of wiping out ALL your sins in the blood of Jesus, kept a few clips around to remind Him of the darkness lurking within you.  I mean, all of us have plenty of material for Him to use.

So Jesus cautions us about judging others in Matthew 7.  Please note, he’s not telling us to NEVER judge.  He’s talking about the “measure” we use.   If you judge people by a youtube clip, there’s a good chance, people will do the same to you.  It might not be on the internet, but it could be in a short conversation or here-say from someone who doesn’t really know you.

The truth is, it’s easy to judge from a distance, much harder up close.  Once you stop “judging by appearances (youtube clips)” and get to know the person, your perspective automatically changes.  You become wide-angle to their story.  And its hard to judge a person when you actually know their story.

Here’s the amazing truth of the Gospel: God knows our stories intimately and yet sent His Son to be judged for us.  Jesus, approaching the cross said, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” At the cross, Jesus bore every clip that deserves God’s judgment.  Jesus declares forgive them, for they know not what they do.  And we are freed from the shame of our shameful moments.

What if the church acted more like the Savior?

Who wouldn’t want to be “online” with that kind of community?