I have been thinking about this subject a lot lately. Some good meaning friends and family members have repeatedly said, “I don’t judge,” or “Who am I to judge.” Of course some of them even quote Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” I understand what they are getting at. We surely shouldn’t be overly concerned about the toothpick in someone else’s eye, when we have a telephone pole sticking out of our own. But did God mean for us to just “be and let be?”
First we have to ask ourselves what our purpose in this life really is. One of our purposes for a born again believer, a follower of Christ, is to bring people into God’s family and help them grow and develop once they are accepted into the beloved. I think we can all agree about that. We want people to be healthy and happy. So now let’s take a look at a natural thing to shed some light on the spiritual. If you had a brother or sister who began to look unhealthy, for example their skin began to turn green and ooze with pus, would you ignore it and say, “I’m not in perfect health so how can I judge what color skin a healthy person should have,” or, “I’m not a doctor, who am I to judge.”
Ok, so that sounds a bit silly. Wouldn’t we all try our best to convince them that there is help and hope for their recovery! Now let’s flip that to the spiritual. You have a brother or sister who begins to slip, maybe even sin…Would you not want to point out to them that they are heading down the wrong road, that there is help and hope for them? We can’t get all holier than thou about judgment.
In a good message about spiritual warfare, by our Senior Pastor, William Hohman, he put it this way (more or less): conviction and condemnation feel the same. The difference is condemnation (or some would say judgment) says, “you are wrong, you are in sin, you are going down, you are bad and going to hell,” while conviction (Godly judgment) says, “you may be doing wrong, but turn from your sin and your life will be better, God still loves you and there is hope for you.” Can you see the difference? We don’t want to condemn people. That’s what Matthew 7:1 means. Even Jesus said he came not to condemn the world.
Our days left here are getting shorter. God loves everyone and want them all to belong to his family. In Luke 11:23, Jesus says, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me Scatters.” How can we help those who need Christ if we aren’t willing to tell them that they have a need? Can we generically tell people God is good, God is love but not say God is Holy, God is just? Sin is sin people. Turning our heads or hiding our eyes from wrong in someone’s life doesn’t help them.
They key is our motivation. If you just want to go around and tell people how to clean up their lives and not work on your own, then you are a Pharisee and Jesus told them they were whitewashed graves. Work at getting and keeping your own life right with God, but in Love and in Jesus name, tell people when they are wrong. I can’t help thinking about so many people that have fallen away because nobody wanted to confront their wrong thinking before it turned into wrong behavior. They won’t always listen, and you’ll hear “Don’t judge me,” more than you’ll want to, but somebody has to do it.
Next time someone tells you, “I don’t judge,” you can say, “Neither do I, but I do warn people about the road they are on, so that they can have better.”
More scriptures about judging (you can judge yourself if all judging is wrong):
John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
I Corinthians 6:1-5 “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world, and if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters. Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the Church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?
Acts 16:15 “and when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
I Corinthians 5:1-3 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the gentiles-that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has done this deed.