Thoughts on judging… a very unpopular stance:
Biblically speaking, Christians are commanded to judge others! (Pro 31:9, 1 Cor 5:12)
BUT only after we have judged ourselves against the Word of God (Rom 14:12), using that same standard for others who claim to submit to God’s standard of holiness (Matt 7:2).
Now, friends, this judging is a discernment. Not a vindictive punishment. We must ALWAYS be measuring our lives against Truth and holding ourselves accountable to that standard. We must NEVER assume we know the intentions of man, and thus we must not pronounce sentence on others.
But what about unbelievers? God’s standard does not change for those who deny Scripture (truth is truth, and righteousness and sin are clearly established), but abundant love and kindness is mandatory towards those whose hearts have not been renewed (we must remember that they cannot understand and they rarely care). We are called to woo them to righteousness, but that is only done through wooing them to Jesus. God is the one who will judge non-Christians, not us (1 Cor 5:13 again), but that does not leave room to CONDONE their sin. (Again, we are called to discern, not exact sentencing.)
Judging is simply adhering to a certain standard of truth or excellence and comparing ourselves or others to that single benchmark, in order to mark or maintain consistency with that standard.
Many people tend to quote Matthew 7:1 ("Judge not, lest ye be judged"), not understanding that it is a caution wrapped in a command. The context of the verse explains that those who judge will themselves be judged according to the same standard. For example, if we call someone out on their anger towards their coworker, yet we ourselves yell at our kids, that 'log in our own eye' must be dealt with before we can hope to be effective in the life of anyone else.
Judgement is simply stating truth. Just as in a courtroom judgement is pronounced by a judge who must seek to determine what is true based on external evidence, so must we look at our lives and that of others to see how we measure up to that standard. Truth is the root of judgement and it is a beautiful thing to know that we can live our lives and objectives based on a SINGLE, UNCHANGING STANDARD.
One thing we must remember: feelings and opinions are subjective and are therefore not Truth. Thus, OPINIONS HAVE NO PLACE IN A BIBLICAL JUDGEMENT. Unless we can back up our position with chapter and verse, our preferences are moot. And, if our opinion lines up with God’s heart it’s NOT ABOUT what we think at all; biblical judgement MUST be hinged solely on the Word of God. (Not the word of our sister-in-law who got that one degree and knows stuff, or the word of anyone else, including ourselves.)
Sooo… how many people are mad at me? You are TOTALLY WELCOME to judge my words, but only against Scripture. Do you disagree? If so, can you back up your understanding with chapter and verse in proper context and hermeneutics?
(Please note that this particular post on judging against Scripture is NOT including anything regarding ADDRESSING others with admonishment. That’s a totally separate thought train, hinged on unity, humility, and love.)