Judge Not…

Karen King at Christ Church Cathedral has some interesting words about judging and being judged. Sage words these. I am often guilty of judging other people, just as others are guilty of judging me simply by what we read on the internet. Since none of us in cyberspace really knows each other, it seems the height of folly to make judgments. But what does, “Do not judge” mean?

The Amplified Bible says this: “DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves (Mat. 7:1).” Paul admonishes those who judge another’s actions, “And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict (Rom. 2:3)?” What is judgment in this context? It is hypocrisy; judging another when you do the very same thing yourself. Judging with condemnation and contempt is also wrong. Telling another person they are going to hell is wrong. Letting God be the judge, however, is always right.

Judgment implies a privileged position that none of us have. Some are extremely rigid in their so-called righteousness. They claim their righteousness gives them a right to judge others. As Christians, some feel that they are even above criticism because they are God’s “chosen, ” but they mete judgment out liberally when the mood strikes. No one is God’s chosen but Jesus Christ.

Of course the final authority is Jesus Christ. Jesus said “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24, NAS).” I believe that righteous judgment is judgment that is merciful, kind, yet corrective. Sometimes what appears to be sin or what the weaker christian calls sin is not sin and what appears to be one thing is another entirely.

Maybe we should all refrain from instant judgment on the internet and see what happens. I wonder what the world would look like if everyone kept their judgments about others completely to themselves in humility and love. What would happen if the world stopped judging and kept silence. There would probably be no news media, television news, or blogs. A refreshing thought, that. I am going to try to keep my judgments about others to myself on this blog. I’m going to make sure I’m not the pot calling the kettle black. Sure, I’ll call your attention to those who do not practice what they preach just to remind you not to think more highly than you ought to think of others, but I am going to try to be nonjudgmental. I hope you will join me. I’ll go first….

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3 thoughts on “Judge Not…

  1. I agree with some of your thoughts. This is one of the most misunderstood scriptural principles. I’ll throw in my 2 cents for what its worth.

    What is righteous judgment? God’s judgments are righteous. They are sure. His judgments are never wrong. His judgments are based upon truth and evidence. They are not based upon opinion.

    Could what Jesus saying here be: if you’re going to judge others based upon your opinion (and not truth and evidence/facts) then be prepared to be judged by others just the same. With their opinion.

    I don’t think that Jesus is saying don’t judge. He said a lot more than that. He said, use caution how you judge.

  2. Good points, heretic. It would make the injunction extremely hard to not judge at all, since we are to judge with righteous judgment. I suppose the degree is what is in question here. Are we forgiving and looking toward redemption when we judge or are we too harsh? I fear I’ve been on the harsh side of making judgments way too many times. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Agreed. I’m trying to let my own heart be transformed to more closely resemble the compassionate heart of God!

    Blessings!

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