A Word on Judging
We hear it everywhere, sometimes lightly, other times more seriously: Don't judge me! We're not supposed to judge, you know? I can do what I want, don't judge! *SIGH*
My Pastor spoke on this a few weeks ago, from Matthew 7:1-5:
Society has twisted this Scripture so much that even believers walk away scratching their heads, wondering if "judging" is wrong, hoping they won't be labeled a "judger" because they voiced their disagreement over an issue. Here are a few things to think through. . .
Calling sin what is is, which is sin, is not judging.
Wanting to not be involved in sin, in any way, is not judging.
Pointing out that there is forgiveness for sin through Jesus Christ, is not judging.
Sharing that salvation and righteousness are available, which is the opposite of sin, is not judging.
We are called, as God's people, to judge things, situations, people and the "spirit" that may be at work in them, otherwise we would have no use of discernment through the Holy Spirit. As believers, we are to discern what is the truth from a lie, right from wrong, what is holy from what is sinful. Consider these passages. . .
So, what about Matthew 7?
First, it does not mean we NEVER judge, but that we should NOT have an attitude that delights in looking for fault in others, as though we aren't sinners saved by His grace. Secondly, whatever judgements we do make will be the same standards used for our own actions (vs. 1-2).
Next, if there is a sin we are currently struggling with or immersed in, we can't see clearly on how to help another out of the same sin...so judging and condemning another for the same thing we're doing wrong makes no sense--we both need help in that area (vs. 3-4). Finally, we are to effectively deal with the sin in our own lives, in order to see clearly, so we can help someone else with the sin they are dealing with (v. 5). This, my friends, is judging.
We also must remember to see Matthew 7:1-5 as one part of a whole. In other words, studying and reading other Scriptures will shed light on the one. For example, if we only look at the character of Jesus based only on His interaction with the money-changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13), we might mistake His love, His compassion, or His forgiveness. Thus, we must study His character in its totality, as given to us in His Word. Same thing goes for judging, folks.