Seen on a Church Sign
Lettuce Be Kind-Let Us Be Kind
Don’t Judge Me!
Luke 6: 27-38
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Well, I had said yesterday I thought I was done with this part of this series, unless lead to add more. And…I was. I saw a blog post today and the subsequent discussion which sparked the thought for one last post.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged
Don’t judge me! That’s the fundie killer isn’t it? That is a sure fire way to stump and halt the conversation with any Christian fundamental enough to actually want to discuss things such as sin and judgment. Most of us don’t know how to deal with the statement, and Christians get hit with it from both non believers and other Christians.
The Blog post that started thing on was The Plastic and the Unspiritual by my friend Insanitybytes On this post some great things were discussed: legalism, judgment, mercy, grace, and many more. Go check it out, you will be blessed. The post was great, and the comments were simply amazing. This post will have few thoughts from me, but many from my friends.
There was some back and forth in discussion regarding just what rights we have as Christians to talk to others about sins and shortcomings. Is it our business, or is it “hands off my sin Jack!” Some of those comments were very telling. Since Christians who desire to talk about sin get hammered with “Do not judge” over and over.
Insanitybytes had the following to say in her own comment.
“To “condemn” and to “judge” are two entirely different words. Am I judged? Oh yes! Am I condemned? No, mercifully forgiven.
We are all judged and found guilty. Christ did not come to condemn us, however, He came to offer us salvation.
The thing is, if we miss the part about being judged, we miss the part about needing mercy.
We are qualified to judge others, to judge sin, to discern right from wrong. Not just qualified, but commanded to do so. To not do so, is to not discern, which than becomes a deception because our own fear of being perceived as judgemental takes precedence over speaking the truth to people. It’s not loving for example, to tell a drunk driver, “awesome, go have a good time, who am I to judge?””
The Ancients had the following to say:
“IB, not sure where this will land but I’m responding in agreement with you on judgement.
[I actually wrote a post on this but never published it]… the quickest way to shut down any conversation with a Christian is to say “judge not”.
Of course we are to judge! We are to judge righteously as the measure by which we judge others is the exact measure we should also employ in judging ourselves… that’s all the verse means/says – (judge not lest you are judged by the same standard.
“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life!”
Judge away!- just make sure you judge righteously.”
“I also have no desire to usurp the job of God, besides the fact I am ridiculously under qualified! I admit because of His perfection, holiness and Sovereignty, in some ways I would rather face the judgement from human imperfection than the Judge of perfect holiness. I think of Job’s encounter with the holiest of holies, it sure changed his perspective on all he endured with those 3 friends of his.
Pretty sure most people have faced judgement of their fellow man or woman somewhere in this journey of life, yet given we will all face that Day when “every knee will bow…”, my prayer is that this is motive enough for each of us “sinners saved by grace” to love one another in ways that honor our Father with an eternal aim always in sight.
I, like IB, am grateful for the outrageous mercy and grace Christ has shown me. This (seemingly endless!) process of sanctification continues its work in me. Yet the context of the text referred to in Matthew 7 seems that what is being condemned by Jesus is their heart attitude which looked down on the character and actions of the others, prejudice which usually leads to hasty and unlovely judgments of others. “The heart’s not right” as a dear friend often says.
Yet John 7:24 that warns us not to judge “according to appearance, but to judge correctly, but with righteous judgement,” which infers we are to judge “the fruits” of a brother or sister’s actions, words or behaviors, not their heart.
The beauty of the Body of Christ is that we, the “nothing but dust” dearly loved children of God need one other. My weaknesses are at times as dangerous as my strengths. It is the love of my brothers and sisters in the faith that have helped one me see that which I could not see in myself. Of course the challenge is that there are those who “speak their mind,” with a heart not in harmony with our Father’s heart of love. Truth can be truth but there is timing for it, and sometimes it is not to be spoken at all. Some of the most effective works of the Holy Spirit I have done through prayer. When I react or response to what someone says something to me that comes across like a “judgement,” I ask myself the question: “Lord, is this true? If so, You have work yet still to do! If not, give me wisdom how I am to respond, if at all. ”
My prayer is that we would all remain watchful and vigilant as the Lord grants us presence of mind so we do encourage, exhort, address and speak to one another in ways that bring comfort, instruction, admonishment where needed out of our love for our brothers and sisters, so that they are strengthened, refreshed and encouraged.”
And finally Salvageable had the following to say:
“a few verses after “Judge not…” (Matthew 7:1) Jesus talks about being wary of false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and he says “by their fruits you will know them.” Some kinds of judgment are open to his people; in fact, we are to exhort one another and to warn sinners, which implies one kind of judgment. In fact, if we offer blanket forgiveness and God’s love without any warning of sin and God’s judgment, we are casing pearls before swine. We can judge what we can see and hear–the actions of a person, the words a person says, the faith that person confesses. We cannot judge the heart of a person; only God sees that. I can warn a sinner of the penalty for sin, but I cannot discern whether or not that person is eternally condemned. Only God knows that. “Grace is scary,” as you say, because it transforms lives. The beauty of God’s grace and forgiveness is also that it transforms lives. God wishes for every human life to be transformed by his grace, and he wants us to wish for that as well.”
Judge not, lest ye be judged
That verse…it may not mean what you think it means