This topic keeps coming up recently. First a friend discussed the possibility of preaching on the subject. Then I had a dream about it. Christians judging other Christians. Being Judgmental. We all know the verse everyone uses when they are upset about being judged.
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Unfortunately for those people, there are plenty of other verses that talk about righteous judgment. And Matthew 7 goes on to say, that you will be judged by your own measure. So, if you are judging others, expect to be judged by that standard.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
If we dig a little deeper into scripture we learn that judging is not always a bad thing. According to scripture, judgment has a place in our spiritual lives. That is when it is done properly in humility.
1 Corinthians 6:2-5
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
And, of course, self-judgment is important also. Let’s not forget that.
1 Corinthians 11:31
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
Where should all this judgment start? Shouldn’t we start with ourselves? What did Jesus say about a mote and a beam?
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
So, why is there snickering in the church over the length of a young girl’s skirt, the drinking habit of the widow in the third pew, the smoking habit of the gruff guy who sits in the back, or the tattoos on that young man who comes with his mother? Is it because we are not spending enough time looking inward? Do we take a look at our own reflections? Do we recognize our own sin and our own faults? We must deal with our own issues before we can help anyone else with theirs. If pride is the sin that so easily besets us, that doesn’t make us better than the person whose drug habit is hard to kick. Remember it was pride that led to Lucifer’s downfall. What about slothfulness? How about gluttony? Whatever it is that we struggle with, we should start there. We should humbly ask Jesus for help overcoming our own sin before we condemn others for theirs. And while we are at it, even in Christian judgment, we shouldn’t be condemning, we should be helping each other. We might need to point out a problem we see a Christian brother or sister struggling with, but it should always be done in love and never for the purpose of belittling that person. It should never be done without prayer and careful consideration.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
So, of course, let’s approach our friend in truth, but only after seeking God’s guidance. And, let’s be open to hearing it when our friend comes to us in truth. Let’s turn our mirrors inward and look at what we need God’s help to fix. Then maybe we will be better able to assist others.
Do you think we should spend more time looking inward? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
(All verse references are taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly referred to as the King James Version.)
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