Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven”
After my post about legalism, I would now like to take this time to discuss the actions of judgement. One habit all of us humans have is the act of judging, be it good or bad. We judge tend others based on their actions, beliefs, religion, culture, race, appearances, habits, hobbies etc. Judging is a natural human instinct that we all act on in our daily every day life. Many people think passing judgement is a negative habit to have and will go out of their way to prove that their not judgemental, feeling it’s not their place to judge anything anyone else does no matter what it is with the exception of breaking the law. After all, we live in free country and have the basic individual rights to live our own lives and make our own choices good or bad. To be judgemen-tal is considered closed-minded and ignorant and people strive to be open-minded and more tolerant and accepting which is the right way we all should be.
First, I want to point out that believe no matter what many people claim, we are all too an extent a little judgmental and it’s nothing wrong with that. I believe it’s okay some-times pass jugement on others based on an action, conduct, morals and behavior. When someone commits a crime, inflicts harms another person, abuses a child, the logical reaction is to pass judgement on their actions by condemning them cruel and immoral. Judging another isn’t perceived for only negative light as some-times we judge others on a positive light. When someone commits a heroic action and saves another person’s life, comes to the aid of a person in need when no one else would we praise that person and commend them. In the court system, it’s the job of the judge to pass judgement after hearing all the arguments and getting all the facts they need then makes ruling based on his/her knowledge.
The problem is not passing judgement as a whole since all of us has and will do that from time to time. The real problem is when we become too judgmental to the point we’re too quick to judge others based condescension, lack of knowledge of the whole facts, close-minded-ness and hypocrisy. As humans, sometimes we can’t help but judge other people and their lives and circumstances just because it’s so easy to in order to feel morally superior even though we may no little about their lives or their situations or don’t try understand what is like to be in their position. There is an old saying “before you criticize someone, you should walk in mile in their shoes, that way when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and have their shoes. For Christians, one the many flaws they have, is the tendency to be too judgemental. The habit of overly judging and analyzing aspects of other’s lives from their habits, hobbies, choices and alternative lifestyles that don’t meet their preference or ideal way of doing. This often leads to becoming self-righteous, holier-than-thou and sanctimonious. It’s can be so easy to judge and condemn others to feel superior, hide our own flaws or be blind to them because we are all so consumed with pointing fingers at other people.
There is the verse Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” This simply means we shouldn’t get so caught up in judging and pointing fingers at others while ignoring or being oblivious to our own faults or mistakes. Instead, we need to focus on ourselves more before we can focus on others or else we are just hypocrites. Another verse confirms this in Romans 2:1-3 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?” Plenty of times, people tend not practice what they preach. It happens often in the Christian commun-ity from Christian and church leaders, church members etc. Many hide their own sins out of fear to show their weaknesses due to insecurity or the need to appear better than they are and to cover these traits indulge in looking at other people’s weak-nesses using it against them.
Often, Judgementalness comes out of ignorance, being closed-minded or fear of what of what they don’t understand sometimes because of what is different from them. This sometimes can be prejudice which itself is some-times based on bigotry and hatred. In John 7: 25 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” In other words, we should not judge simply based outward appearance, based on race, na-tionality, handicap, disfigurement, how someone dresses but instead judge on based on what’s inside their hearts and mind. If people look beyond the outward appear-ances, they may see the truth of who that person is and may be quite surprised what they find. Another problem many Christians have is the tendency to be quick to judge those who don’t share their faith. Many constantly complain about the ungodliness of the secular society write off those who share other faiths as heathens. I read it plenty comments from Christians complaining about the secular schools, colleges, club scenes or condescend to those who don’t chose to live a secular lifestyle without any religion in their lives. In this way, Christians can be so consumed with all what is wrong in the secular society, that they ignore some of the sinfulness and scandals that go on in the church. Paul even warned about this regarding the
church in 1 Corinthians 5:12 “For
what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church
whom you are to judge? Corinth
As Christians, we should stop be so focused on judging the secular society when there is sin inside the church. Instead, we should be concerned about the sinners among fellow Christians and church members. In this context, Paul is stating that it is okay to judge as many Christians do stray against God’s will and commit immoral sin such as adultery, addiction, any forms of abuse, look at porn, become promiscuous etc. We certainly shouldn’t overlook these negative traits in a misguided attempt to appear non-judgemental. However, rather than be too harsh and condemning, we should strive to help the sinner to flee from their sins by repenting and encourage them to get help they need if possible. We should then strive to show mercy and forgiveness as Jesus did for all rather lord they sins over that person especially if they are trying to change their ways and be better people.
When it comes to judgment as whole, it is not a black and white answer. We should all strive not to be too judgemental that leads to self-righteousness, over criticism and hypocrisy yet we should judge with the right attitude and our hearts in the right place that has a positive affect following Christ’s example.