Did you ever feel like everyone is judging you? Not a real pleasant feeling. I know a lot about this from being a preacher’s kid and always being under everyone’s microscope. It wasn’t fun at all and honestly I could wait to grow up and go somewhere where people didn’t know me.
The bible has a lot to say about judging. There is also some conflicts of opinions about the scripture meanings. Here are some things that I have learned in studying judging.
In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us to judge not or we will be judged and with what measure we judge, it will be measured back to us. In Jesus’ time, the Rabbis taught that God had to measures; one of justice and one of mercy. Interesting. So then, what measure do you want God to take with you? Mercy or justice? I personally need mercy and so do you because according to Romans 3:23 we are all sinners. We need to keep this in mind when we think about judging others.
Jesus goes on to talk about being a hypocritical judge. Why are you trying to get the speck out of your brothers eye when you have a log in your own? First, deal with your own issues. We all have them. And, if necessary, HELP your brother in dealing with his in all humility.
A few verses after this Jesus talks about the golden rule. Treat others as you, yourself want to be treated. If we would just abide by this principle, we wouldn’t judge at all.
We are to be discerning though. For there are false prophets, those professing Jesus who are not Godly and will lead you astray. Jesus said that we will know those of God by their “fruit”. What fruit? Love, joy, peace, faith, patient, goodness, kindness, meekness, self control to be exact. If the fruit of their lives are the opposite of these fruits of the Spirit, we need to be cautious. This is also why we must know the Word of God so that we will know if what someone is teaching is accurate. God doesn’t NOT contradict Himself.
In Romans 14, Paul tells us that we are to accept those who are weaker in faith and not have debates with them about issues that are not clear. He uses an example of eating. We all need to live by the standard set for by God in His Word. There are areas that are not plainly stated and with those we need to heed the guidance of Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. Somethings may be wrong for me but you are not convicted of them. We are all at different places in our walk with God and we need to be mindful of that and not causing someone to stumble by judging them, by trying to make them be caught up in legalism OR by causing them to sin because we abuse the liberty that we have in Christ (thinking that all things are okay because we are covered by the blood of Jesus).
So, to tie it all together, God is our judge. He is the only one who knows people’s hearts and their motives behind doing things. We need to remember that we are all sinners and humbly realize that without God’s mercy in our own lives we are as good as dead (Romans 6:23) We will all be judged by God according to the standard that He set forth in His Word. We are held accountable to His Word and should hold our brother’s accountable by the exact same standard not a hypocritical one. Let’s accept the gospel of Jesus and not reject it. Let’s pray for each other and encourage one another instead of judging and tearing down. We will all be better off in the end.