Billy's Blog
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March 2, 2017, 10:05 PM

Do Not Judge...or option B...

I hear it a lot when I'm out talking to people about life issues. Some of these issues are light hearted and funny and some are downright controversial. At times as a believer in Christ and a pastor I'm put in situations where I must make a judgment on someone. Is this right? Aren't we to avoid all judging of other people? I mean Jesus didn't come to earth to judge the world but to save the world. Right?

Well, let's read Matthew 7:1. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." 

You see, there it is. No more judging. 

Ok, so take judgment of others totally out of your existence. 

You are playing in a park with your children. Your nine year old daughter goes walking in a big grass field that has a little road that runs through it. Here comes this old Ford Conversion Van slowly down the little road. This 50 something man gets out of the van and walks slowly over to your little girl. He has some candy in one hand and a teddy bear in the other. If you are a dad or mom in this situation what will you do? You will make a judgment. You will look at the evidence that's in front of your face, and you will judge this man to not have pure motives. You run over as fast as you can, snatch your little girl, and call the police. Are you a hateful, bigoted person? No, you are making a fair assessment of the situation. 

Life is a series of judgments about people. When someone interviews for a job they are being judged. When someone wants to be your friend you must judge them to see if they are someone you want to be friends with. As you meet neighbors, get introduced to your daughter's boyfriend, or meet new co-workers...you are making judgments about people. 

So what was Jesus getting at in Matthew 7?

As always with the Bible you must keep reading. 

"For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:2

Jesus is saying that the way you judge people is the same way you will be judged. So when you judge someone do it fairly. When you judge someone you must see their actions. You can't see into someone's heart so quit trying to judge their every motive. Judging someone is about making a fair assessment not attacking them or finding a reason to justify your prejudice or fear. 

Much unfair judgment is based on fear or prejudice. I may make a judgment on all people of a nationality, because I am simply ignorant of who they really are. So it's much easier to just judge them unfairly. It's much harder to take the time to get to know them and understand them and judge them based on reality not some pre-conceived notion. 

Judgment is something we all must do to protect ourselves and those around us. It's just a part of life. Jesus challenges us to give people a chance. He challenges us to go beyond the norms. He challenges us to rise above societal expectations. Jesus was a Jewish man who was willing to speak in public with Samaritan women. He didn't judge people on mere stereotypical ideals. He reached out and gave them a chance. 

Is it a sin to judge? No, not in the right context. 

But let's consider very closely how Jesus judged other people. Then let's just try to be more like him. 

That usually works. 


 


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