Billy's Blog
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September 29, 2015, 4:22 PM

To Judge Or Not To Judge

There are some cliches that seemed to get used a lot by religious people or by people referencing religion. Here are a few of them, and my own personal label for each one:

"God will not give you more than you can handle."--false

"I'm only human."--lame excuse

"I'm a spiritual person, but I'm not into church."--you're pants are on fire

"Don't judge me."--??

I get asked about judgment all the time. When I thought about this blog I read several passages on judging other people. I read Matthew 7:1-5, which most people quote verse one, but forget to read the rest of it. Verse one says, "Judge not, that you be not judged." I read John 7:24 that tells us not to judge by appearances but to judge with the right judgment. 

Other passages on judging challenge us in our hypocrisy. Romans 2:1-3, says that many times when we are judging others we are doing the very same thing that we are condemning. This is so true. 

James 4:11-12 compares unfair judgment to "speaking evil against one another". It sounds much like slander or gossip in this passage, which we know is definitely a sin. 

So what are we to conclude about judging others?

1. I do not believe it's strictly condemned.

We have to make judgments of people all the time. Will we help this person out financially? Will I pick up this person who needs a ride? Will I buy something from this person? Will I hire this person or not? We have to make judgments all the time. What we want to do is make judgments that are fair and based upon the information we have and not based upon what we THINK we know. 

2. It's clearly and strongly warned.

The problem with judging other people is that simply we aren't very good at it. We don't have all the information. We can't see their heart or their thoughts. We have our own biases and opinions that lead us astray. One big problem is that we are sinners, too. 

3. A good idea...mind your own business. 

What's the old saying, "People that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." I know that I've got enough problems of my own to worry about. I don't have the time nor the energy nor the holiness to go judging others for what they are doing or saying. I know how ugly slander and gossip sounds when I hear it from someone else, so I know it would sound really ugly coming out of my mouth, too. My house has enough dings and stratches on it, I don't really need to go over and try to fix my neighbor's house. 

When it comes to issues that we disagree on I love the passage in Romans 14. Romans chapter 14 is all about disagreements between people and judging each other. Paul is instructing the church in how to deal with issues that aren't necessarily right or wrong, just differences of opinion...even STRONG differences. Here's a great piece of advice he gives:

"So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves." Romans 14:22

In other words, the less said the better sometimes. 

Amen.

Have a great day,

Billy

 


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