Saturday, March 17, 2012

Judge not?

Lately, it has seemed to me that "You're so judgmental" actually means "I am enjoying my sin and I don't want you to remind me." 

Are we really not to judge anything?  Let me pose a question. Isn't the statement "You're so judgmental," um, making a judgment?   (I am speaking to myself here as well).

What do the scriptures say?

First, Matthew 7, from the sermon on the mount:
Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Because of the context, "Judge not" is actually not a command, but a warning.  Why else would the passage warn us to get the specks out of our own eyes FIRST?  And from whose eye are we to help remove the speck?  Our brothers - meaning those in the household of faith.  Not those on the outside -the passage tells us that we are not to give what is holy to the dogs, or they will turn and tear you in pieces. 

1 Corinthians 5 offers further confirmation:
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.  For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?  But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person.

Galatians 6:1 says how we are to approach our brother who is caught in sin:
 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

Is there judgement when we do this?  Yes!  Is it difficult?  Yes!  Nobody wants to be called "judgmental."  As believers, we need to be careful to follow what scripture says, and to challenge, exhort, and restore those believers who are caught in sin - NOT for the purpose of condemnation, but for the purpose of restoration.  If someone comes back at you with "Stop judging me!," then perhaps this is a clue that they either don't understand the role of fellow believers in restoration, or they are not a fellow believer in the first place.

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