Saturday, March 9, 2013

Don't Judge Me

Matthew 7:1-5  "Stop judging so that you will not be judged.  (2)  Otherwise, you will be judged by the same standard you use to judge others. The standards you use for others will be applied to you.  (3)  So why do you see the piece of sawdust in another believer's eye and not notice the wooden beam in your own eye?  (4)  How can you say to another believer, 'Let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,' when you have a beam in your own eye?  (5)  You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer's eye.

How many people have heard this passage thrown at your face? I have heard it misquoted by several people and , in many cases, misunderstood. Those who are flunkies in the faith or doubters of the truth use this passage for personal defense. I am always amazed on how many misinterpret this passage and use it for their sin nature.

The Greek word for Judge in this instance is krino which means to condemn, punish, and avenge. As believers we should never judge or condemn individuals to an absolute. We don't have that authority or power. We must judge ourselves and look deeper at our own faults before ever looking at another's.  The beauty of this passage teaches us something about ourselves. True humility allows a man to look within himself deeper and fix the issues before he looks at the faults of another. It does not mean that he or she approves of the faults or sinful nature of others. It simply means he or she allows Holy Spirit to change their lives first. We are called not to judge people rashly or quickly based off of our religious standard. Remember that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees during this time. They would judge others based off of their religious doctrine and not the word of God. 

Here is the problem with people misquoting Matthew 7.  This one passage does not tell us to never judge according to His word. In other words, if someone is doing something contrary to God's truth then judgement is given. Not judgement without mercy or grace but godly judgement.

 If judging people is totally wrong then how do we fully follow these scriptures?

Romans 16:17-18  Brothers and sisters, I urge you to watch out for those people who create divisions and who make others fall away from the Christian faith by teaching doctrine that is not the same as you have learned. Stay away from them.  (18)  People like these are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving their own desires. By their smooth talk and flattering words they deceive unsuspecting people.

2 Corinthians 6:11-18  We have been very open in speaking to you Corinthians. We have a place for you in our hearts.  (12)  We haven't cut you off. Your own emotions have cut you off from us.  (13)  I'm talking to you as I would talk to children. Treat us the same way we've treated you. Make a place for us in your hearts too.  (14)  Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness?  (15)  Can Christ agree with the devil? Can a believer share life with an unbeliever?  (16)  Can God's temple contain false gods? Clearly, we are the temple of the living God. As God said, "I will live and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people."  (17)  The Lord says, "Get away from unbelievers. Separate yourselves from them. Have nothing to do with anything unclean. Then I will welcome you."  (18)  The Lord Almighty says, "I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters."

2 Timothy 3:1-9  You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time.  (2)  People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy,  (3)  and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good.  (4)  They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God.  (5)  They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people.  (6)  Some of these men go into homes and mislead weak-minded women who are burdened with sins and led by all kinds of desires.  (7)  These women are always studying but are never able to recognize the truth.  (8)  As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men oppose the truth. Their minds are corrupt, and the faith they teach is counterfeit.  (9)  Certainly, they won't get very far. Like the stupidity of Jannes and Jambres, their stupidity will be plain to everyone.

1 John 4:1-3  Dear friends, don't believe all people who say that they have the Spirit. Instead, test them. See whether the spirit they have is from God, because there are many false prophets in the world.  (2)  This is how you can recognize God's Spirit: Every person who declares that Jesus Christ has come as a human has the Spirit that is from God.  (3)  But every person who doesn't declare that Jesus Christ has come as a human has a spirit that isn't from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you have heard is coming. That spirit is already in the world.

We are commissioned to judge those who oppose or are opposite of God's truth. We compare people's acts by the word of God and by nothing else. If God's word is clear on the subject then one can not argue. As believers we must uphold the truth which has been given to us. 

Jesus even tells us to look at the fruit of an individual. Luke 6:41-45  "Why do you see the piece of sawdust in another believer's eye and not notice the wooden beam in your own eye?  (42)  How can you say to another believer, 'Friend, let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,' when you don't see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer's eye.  (43)  "A good tree doesn't produce rotten fruit, and a rotten tree doesn't produce good fruit.  (44)  Each tree is known by its fruit. You don't pick figs from thorny plants or grapes from a thornbush.  (45)  Good people do the good that is in them. But evil people do the evil that is in them. The things people say come from inside them.

In today's society christians have allowed unbelievers to interpret scripture for us. We have allowed the world to stop us from representing God's word rightly.  God's word is the only true judge. If we are not following His word then we are in sin. There is no gray area. The good news is that there is grace and grace is for all. This is why we are not called to condemn people or send them to hell. We can only point out what is sinful and unrighteous based off of His holy Word. 

Lessons about Judging others.

1. Always judge yourself from God's word before ever casting judgement on someone else.
2. Remember that you do not have the power to condemn others just to give direction.
3. Judge according to His word not by your denominations' doctrine. They are not the same. 
4. Judge with mercy and never forget where you have come from or you will face the same outcome.
5. Never judge and verbally beat up the other person. 
6. Judge through the Spirit and through Humility. 
7. Judge righteously and live righteously.
8. Understand that Judgement is needed to make decisions in life. Righteous judgement leads us to righteous living in Christ. 
9. Don't judge with the idea of moral superiorty but as a person needing the grace and mercy of God. 
10. Allow judging to be placed towards you from other believers for accountability.

Therefore, Do judge me and I will judge you according to His word and grace. As believers, we have the truth for mankind, and we are called to share this truth to a dying world. Don't let the world's misguided and misinterpreted view of scripture stop you from sharing the Message " AS IS".

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