Sunday, January 19, 2014

Judging Isn't Always Wrong

We need to be careful who and how we judge.

Matthew 7:1  "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.

Matthew 7:3  "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?

Matthew 7:6  "Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Matthew 7:17  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.

People love to quote Jesus words without looking at the context and without checking out his other statements about the same topic.

Matthew 7:1 is probably one of the most misused verses in the Bible. Jesus doesn't condemn all judging but he does want us to be careful about how we do it.

Judging is a very necessary action and it is a healthy part of our daily lives. Without good judgment we would put ourselves in harms way or we would believe every lie that we hear. We need to form an opinion of the conduct of the people around us but our tendency is to judge too harshly and without mercy. If you look at the context of Matthew 7:1 you will see that there are instances that he told us to judge.

Judge at the right time

Timing is everything, Jesus told us to judge ourselves before we judge other people. (Matthew 7:2) Consider how bad that plank is in your own eye before you do a lot of damage trying to retrieve a speck of dust from somebody else eye. We need to be careful that we don't justify ourselves too quickly and rush to help save those that are around us that need our "help."

People who continually find fault with others only invite judgment upon themselves, in pointing to the faults in others, they attract attention to themselves. We all have faults, and though they themselves may be unaware of them, other people see them very clearly

Judge the value of the gospel

Jesus tells us that we should avoid offering the gospel to quarrelsome people that will not realize it's value. Those who present the gospel must be able to judge the difference between people who genuinely want to know about God and people who only want to mock and abuse. We are to recognize that there are some people so hardened to receiving the message that they will not listen

There were times that Jesus discerned that his audience would not appreciate the value of the gospel. We need to be careful that we don't rush to judge our audience and withhold the gospel message from someone that may have been open to it.

Judge the fruit 

Jesus talked many times about checking out the fruit that you see being produced on a tree and deciding for yourself what it tells you about that tree. If the person claims to be a believer but

Philippians 1:11  May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation--the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ--for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

The world is right to judge us. If you’re a follower of Jesus you should behave like one, nonbelievers expect you to act like Jesus. They expect you to care like Jesus and respond to people the way that Jesus did. Our character should prove that our faith has meaning.
Stop judging the world.
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.  13  God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, "You must remove the evil person from among you."
While the world can judge us we shouldn't be judging the behavior of people outside of the family of God. We shouldn't be running around pointing our finger at them and criticizing them. Jesus didn't walk around and tell everybody he saw how bad they are. He didn’t coerce, threaten, or guilt people into following him.

Jesus loved people and his love drew people to him. We will never win the world to Jesus by doing anything other than loving the world. The early church did a great job of this and they were able to change the world but once the church became established politically in the Roman Empire this came to an end.

Political power and influence over non-Christians will not achieve the work of the Great Commission. Too often we judge nonbelievers while failing to hold ourselves accountable for our behavior.