The Hubs (PK), opened a can of worms last week by challenging us that the Bible doesn’t tell us “not to judge.” But, but, but… what about Matthew 7?
Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged.” Matthew 7:1
Do.Not.Judge. I suppose, like many other verses in the Bible if that is all you read you can take that as it is, but it is not the only verse in the Bible so we must read it in context AND alongside many other verses. The note, in my HCSB study Bible, says, “Jesus did not intend to prohibit all acts of judgment. Elsewhere He commanded believers to discern the actions of others. What Jesus condemned is hypocritical judgment that focuses on the faults of others while excusing one’s own sins.” Further, in the notes relating to versus 3-5, it says, “Believers DO have a responsibility to help one another repent of sins, but only after first dealing with their own serious sins.”
Kevin gave this example. What if, at your job, you were doing something wrong for over ten years and you didn’t even realize it. Your co-workers noticed it, but none of them had the guts to tell you. One day, corporate comes in and addresses this thing you’ve been doing wrong all these years and you get fired. Wouldn’t you have wanted the opportunity to change what you were doing wrong, if only someone would’ve told you?
Sure, if you’re a follower of Jesus and surrendered your life to Him, you’re not going to get “fired” from being a Christian. But, isn’t the heart of someone who wants to truly follow Jesus to want to please Him in all areas of their life? Sometimes there’s sin in our life that we don’t even realize is there (the Bible calls this “secret sin”), and God may use someone to bring that to light for us – for our growth – for His glory. “Satan wants us to believe judging is a sin, but God uses Biblical judging in our lives and our Christian walks” – PK.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts in regards to judging:
-be hypocritical. Examine your own heart first (Matthew 7:3-5).
-be condemning (Luke 6:37).
-be critical (James 4:11). From my study bible notes, “there are never grounds for critical speech directed toward another member of the congregation.” Hmmmm.
-approach humbly and gently (Gal. 6)
-discern/judge biblically (Matt. 7:2, John 7:24)
-make personal contact (Matthew 18)
-share in LOVE (Eph. 4:15)
Now, instead of saying, “Don’t Judge Me,” we can say, “Please, judge me.”