To judge, or not to judge?

There’s a popular saying: “Don’t judge me!” This is often said while someone is doing something wrong. They have the idea that their wrongdoing shouldn’t be recognized truthfully because no one has the right to judge them. Is that right? Should parents never punish their children for lying because they can never judge them? Should a friend never warn a friend about his sin because he can’t “judge.”

To judge, or not to judge? That is the question.

In Galatians 6:1, we find probably the most direct and comprehensive command to judge others. It says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Yes, God wants you to have a discerning eye (judge), but he doesn’t want you to have a critical eye. Judge, yes. But judge humbly, and out of love. When you approach a fellow Christian about their fault, do so with meekness and humility. If you do so in pride, you have already fallen into sin yourself.

I honestly believe the key to understanding righteous judgment is in the spirit in which it is done. For instance, Matthew 7 begins with, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Jesus says that you would be fool to try to pick some dust from someone’s eye when you had a beam in your own. But notice what Jesus finishes with: “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Notice, you are commanded to help your brother get his perspective right!

In the end, Christ wants us to purify our lives, so we can see clearly so we can humbly help others purify their own. Such is edification and brotherly love.

However, in this we must judge before we judge. In Matthew 7:6, Jesus tells us not to give what is holy to the dogs or pearls to pigs. In essence, don’t try to help someone fix their life if you know they won’t want the help. If they’re happy in their sin and they want to stay that way, don’t bother. In the end, they will disregard the truth you give and attack you.

So, in summary.  God says to Judge.

1) Judge yourself – Get the beam out of your eye

2) Judge your brother- If your brother’s got something in his eye, care enough to notice.

3) Judge again – If you know that you’re brother will reject your admission, then don’t give it. It would do more harm than good.

4) Pray- It’s not in this scripture, but I added it anyway. 🙂 Seek God’s wisdom on approaching someone. If you decide to speak to them, pray that you remain humble and they take it to heart. If you decide not to speak to them, pray that God will provide them with many opportunities to turn around.

In the end, it’s not ours to condemn. God will condemn and punish how and when He sees fit. But we have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to ourselves to discern the character of those around us. In that sense of judging, I challenge you:

Judge wisely!

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