How Does Judging Others Show God’s Love
Judging others shows God’s love in the same way “judging” a child’s dangerous behavior preserves their life. Yes, judging people is not only biblical, but also a faith “strategic imperative”. While the Bible encourages believers to make righteous judgments, it also cautions against hypocritically doing so. In John 7:24, Jesus says: "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment." This teaches that there is a proper way to judge, rather than superficial evaluations.
Additionally, in Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus instructs His followers on the importance of examining our own faults before pointing out those of others. This makes it clear that although some judgment is righteous, it should be done with humility and love. Ultimately, this encourages disciples of Christ to exercise a spirit of truth, aiming to encourage others having done so.
Here are three (3) examples of righteous correction:
1. Eli the Priest: Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were corrupt while serving as priests, and Eli failed to correct them. As a result, God pronounced judgment on Eli, and his household, leading to the death of his sons and the downfall of his lineage (1st Samuel 2:27-36). If you refuse to correct that which God provided the authority to, the consequences will be “deadly”.
2. An idolatrous city: In the book of Ezekiel, God pronounced judgment on the city of Tyre for its pride and idolatry (Ezekiel 28:1-19). God’s decision (judgment) included destruction and exile, serving as a reminder of the consequences of turning away from Him.
3. Peter's Hypocrisy: The Apostle Paul confronted Peter, also an Apostle, in Galatians 2:11-14. Peter hypocritically withdrew from eating with Gentile believers due to fear of criticism from the Jewish community. Paul's righteous challenge highlighted Peter's sinful actions and emphasized the importance of unity in Christ.
In summary, and regardless of the false Preaching you have heard to the contrary, judging is Godly! Again, one (1) must be in a morally correct position to do so. For instance, someone with a gambling addiction has no moral standing to judge another with the same affliction.
Should Christians Judge Ourselves
Yes, Christians should judge themselves and do so long before judging another. Self-examination is a biblical concept. The biblical narrative repeatedly encourages believers to examine ourselves in order to grow in relationship with God. In Psalm 139:23-24, David wrote: "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." This highlights the importance of inviting Jesus Christ into our innermost being and to reveal everything that is not like Him. Self-examination results is Holy Ghost alignment through repentance of sinful behavior.
Furthermore, Paul emphasized this in his letters to the Corinthians. In 1st Corinthians 11:28, he wrote: "Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup." Paul refers to the practice of partaking in the Lord's Supper, but his instruction extends beyond such a limited scope. Self-examination and judgment, when found lacking, prepares us to approach the Lord with a repentant heart. By doing so, real Christians acknowledge our weakness. Ultimately, self-examination is a biblical practice which assists Christians in remaining connected to Jesus.
Here are three (3) examples of heart-felt biblical self-judgment:
1. The Tax Collector (Luke 18:13): Standing at a distance in the temple, a tax collector beat his chest and openly confessed: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" This recognized his need for God's forgiveness and mercy. Contrast this with the Religious Leader, also on his way to that same temple: “I thank God I am not a sinner like that man”.
2. Zacchaeus (Luke 19:8): After encountering Jesus, Zacchaeus, a tax collector known for his dishonesty, publicly declares his intention to make amends and restore those he has wronged. This is a humble act of self-judgment and demonstrates a perfect example of the power of “self-correction”.
3. Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5): In a vision of God's glory, Isaiah becomes aware of his own sinful nature and exclaims: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips."
In summary, Christians should judge ourselves long before we ever consider doing so towards another. Further, there are ample biblical examples of the power and authority self-examination provides to repentant Believers.
What is Unrighteous Judgment of Others
Unrighteously judging another is defined as ‘chastising someone for sin the accuser has not overcome in their own lives’. It can also mean: ‘criticizing for the sake of criticism itself’. In this scenario, and even though one (1) may not struggle with the wrong pointed out in another, it is not done in a spirit of grace.
The Holy Bible forbids non-righteous judging of others because it stands in contrast to love and grace. Jesus emphasizes the importance of treating others with grace, cautioning against pointing out another’s evil for vain purposes. Furthermore, this wickedness hinders the spread of the Gospel.
In Romans 14:10-13, Paul warns against passing judgment on one another falsely and encourages focusing on building up one another. Worst of all, ill-timed, and non-considered decisions will damage the witness of our Savior, His Bride (The Church), and hinder the transformative work of God's grace in the lives of the most needing His Love.
Here are several examples of unrighteous judgment:
1. The elder brother (Luke 15:25-32): In the parable of the prodigal son, the elder brother displayed non-Holy Spirit judgment when resisting his father’s celebration of his little brother’s return (from sin).
2. Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 4:1-3): These adversaries of Nehemiah (really God), and the Israelites, mocked their wall rebuilding efforts. They further ridiculed faith in our God, and engaged in demonic judgment based on their own pride and opposition to God's work.
3. The high priest and Sanhedrin council (Matthew 26:57-68): During Jesus' trial, the high priest, and Sanhedrin council unjustly condemned Him based on false accusations. They also interjected lies in a trial professing to governed by those “grounded” in truth.
In summary, unjust judgment is totally against scripture and thereby, the Lord God of Hosts. There are many instances of such demonic, non-Christ centered judgment in the text. However, these should serve as examples of what NOT to do, rather than examples to be modelled.
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