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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some Thoughts On "Judging"

"If we be modest and charitable in our censers of others, and decline judging them, and judge ourselves rather, we shall not be judged of the Lord." Matthew Henry

Three General Rules:

1. Look At Yourself First

"...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." Matthew 7:5

2. Only Judge Within The Church

"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves." 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

3. Judge With Great Discretion

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:1

More Verses On Judging

"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." John 7:24

"But you, why do you judge your brother? Or again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God." Romans 14:10

"Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only One Lawgiver and judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:11-12 (See an interesting take on this scripture here.)

Scripture That Relates To Judging

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16

{To overseers}"...holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict."

Points On Judging From The Matthew Henry Commentary (specific to Matthew 7:1-5)
  • Judge ourselves, not our brother
  • Do not sit in the judgment seat, to make our word a law to everyone
  • Do not despise him or set him at naught
  • Do not judge rashly
  • Do not judge uncharitably, unmercifully, nor with a spirit of revenge or desire to do mischief
  • Do not judge the hearts of others, nor their intentions
  • Do not judge their eternal state
In Summary

The overall picture I get on judging is just not to do it unless necessary to preserve sound doctrine and/or to weed out false teachings. We do not judge someone based on our opinions (or feelings) of that person, and we are not to condemn anyone. For the most part, we are not to judge people, but rather content. It is the "content" we judge, rebuke, and correct. We also must be very careful if we choose to judge because we are but sinners. We are faulty and we err. Do not take judging lightly. Please be very careful not to lay extra burdens on people because of your opinions. If the scripture is not clear on a particular issue, perhaps you should be extra diligent in not claiming truth in the grey.

I like what Jasmine Baucham has to say that relates to judging: "Daddy always says that our orthopraxy falls into three categories: opinion, persuasion, and conviction." I encourage you to make it a habit to know the difference between the three. (Orthopraxy is correctness or right belief with right action.)

I tend to take pretty strong stances on certain things, as I'm sure many of you do. Let's make a point to really examine why we believe what we do so that on a day of questioning, we can be clear with scripture why it is we hold fast to the belief we hold. Examine things for yourself. Cling to humility...but be confident in the Lord.

I also want to add a general note to all: please please please give people the benefit of the doubt, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.

*If you have found some of my posts to be judgmental, please read this post - you may be right!

"But examine everything carefully, hold fast to that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21


Nimmi said...

You really got me thinking on this one. I love your writing and your posts help me to come closer to the Lord. A big thank you for that.

Rose said...

Thank you for sharing this well written and thought provoking post. It was a good thing for me to read right now.

Moody said...

I think our society uses the word "Judge" way too much in order to get defensive and I think we are as church members started to do the same. It is like what I say don't judge me; just as.. you stay on your side and I am on my side and don't cross over my space.
Maybe the problem in the way we use the word and think about it, or the way the word sounds like. The word Judge makes the person stands as a righteous. But the biblical believe is corrective and I believe that we need to change our perspective on what the word means.
Thanks again for your wonderful posts.
m & j @ zcouple.com

Kristen, The Pajama Mama said...

I remember reading Jasmine quote her Dad, too! It really stood out to me-worth repeating and remembering!
Great conclusion!

Kristina said...

I really enjoyed this post. My pastor has spoke about this subject and said pretty much the same things you did. Great!

Anne Basso said...

I really love this post, Sarah Mae. I remember a point in my faith where I just felt so sure I knew the right way, and I wanted to share it with others! I had the best motives!

But some particularly painful and humbling experiences showed me what damage judgment can create. Especially judgment shared for the righteousness of the other person. I never wanted to do that to another person.

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16, but we have to be careful how we use it. We can't take single verses out of context and apply them to people or situations that they were never meant for.

This post was a great example of looking at many scriptures together, to see how they work together to tell a larger truth.

It's beautifully done, and I can tell you put a lot of thought, prayer, time, and study into it. We can see when the verses are all put together how the idea of judgment should ultimately humble us.

Again, well done!

Friend Chick said...

I think so often when we take a strong stance on a certain issue it's hard to differentiate between judgment and standing strong in our convictions.

Thank you again for urging me to examine myself.

Lauren Ann said...

great post. i was just thinking about judging the other day.

god bless,
lauren ann

MamaHen Em said...

This is especially helpful to me this week as I have been spending time searching my own heart regarding this very topic.

Marci said...

If we are loving others as God loves them, we will not be judgemental of others. Also, if we see ourselves as we really are and work out our salvation with fear and awe we won't have time to worry with their problems. You can't be the holy spirit for others. Start with prayer and self evaulation!

Anne Basso said...

I love that you are so willing to grow as a Christian, and that you let us come along for the ride.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Excellent points Sarah Mae! I do find myself falling into the judging trap occasionally and one thing I find most helpful is remembering that we are ALL sinners and that I must look at myself first. Thank you for your careful research and thoughts on the subject!

HeathahLee said...

This is such a good post, Sarah Mae! Spoken with authority yet humility, too. : )

Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

GREAT post!

Judging others is just so easy to do, and we ALL do it, sometimes without even realizing it! I know that I have struggled with this issue quite a bit in the past...what better way to squelch love for others than slipping in to negative thought patterns like judgment?

Thank you for stepping out in faith and tacking another "sticky" issue!

::Traci:: said...

It's amazing how whenever something is rolling around in my mind, I come here and see God working through you on the same issues.

Your encouragement and light is such a blessing.

Miss Eyebright said...

I do agree agree with what you have to say about humility and meekness. I am no better than anyone else.

My Mom wrote two posts about judging, a while ago, if you want to read them.



Have a very bright, very cheerful day!
Miss Eyebright

titus2woman said...

LOVE THIS! I am in total agreement! Only amongst the brethren, and then only on issues of sin and salvation! (((((HUGS))))) sandi