Monday, January 17, 2011

Judge not

Humans are extremely good at making judgments, whether they are good judgments is another story. Sometimes our judgments are clear and accurate, while at other times they are wrong and distorted. Judgments and their effect on human life can have a wide array of implications. Some judgments make little or no difference, while others might mean the difference between life and death. At some point in His ministry, Jesus felt that it was needful to address the topic of human judgment, and its consequences on all the parties involved. Possibly one of the most famous sermons on this subject is found in Matthew's gospel, where Jesus simply states, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

What's unfortunate however, is that many people have used this verse as a license to sin. Unfathomable numbers of people go to this verse when they want to get "critical Christian" off their back, while putting them in their place at the same time. The problem with this method of defense however, is that it totally dismisses the many verses that encourage believers to make judgment calls. At the end of the day, judgment is something we can't get away from. What all of us need to remember however, is that no judgment should be made without serious consideration for what will happen to those that are judging, as well as to those who are being judged.

Making judgments about others can have many negative side effects, especially when we decide to share those judgments with the person that we are judging. Probably one of the worst things about sharing our judgments, is that it robs people of the opportunity to judge themselves. I've often reflected on the words of the Apostle Paul, who teaching on the subject of communion encouraged the Corinthians to "examine themselves." Paul could have done the examining for them, and in many respects he did {just read Corinthians}, but even Paul knew that if people were going to take communion seriously, it was best that they judged themselves. Consider the prodigal son, had he not "come to himself" and seen his mistakes, it's very likely the parable would have ended differently. The act of coming to his senses was actually the first step in his long journey back home. His father's ability to stay quite, while handing over bags of hard earned money, resulted in him celebrating loudly when he decided to came back home years later. It would have been easy for the father to give his son the inheritance, along with a piece of his mind, but it's very likely he never would have got back the boy he loved so much. Whatever the father would have said last, would have been the first thing his son remembered when wanting to come back home.
It's been said that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I suppose that this would include their opinions about other people as well. What NO one is entitled to however, is their own truths. Life will always preach a better sermon than we can, with or without assistance, all of us will have to come to terms with the truth about who we really are. Being told by others where we need to shape up, or ship out, has its place, and its blessings, but nothing can compare to the sobering moment in which we see ourselves through God's light, and realize it's time to go our way, and sin no more.

1 comment:

Charity said...

"Life will always preach a better sermon than we can, with or without assistance, all of us will have to come to terms with the truth about who we really are. Being told by others where we need to shape up, or ship out, has its place, and its blessings, but nothing can compare to the sobering moment in which we see ourselves through God's light, and realize its time to go our way, and sin no more. "
I love this post! It's so true, too often I find myself thinking (hopefully not telling someone)what another person ought to be doing, rather than simply working on what I need to work on. It drives me crazy when people use 'Don't judge me' as a catch-phrase, however in those moments when it's accurate and appropriate, those three words can really make you think about what your intentions were in whatever you said to the other person.

On a side note, I'm unsure whether you've heard of Kevin DeYoung, but you can find his blog here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/

While some of his stuff is humorous, his books and blog posts remind me of your writings (Bro. Prado, I'm assuming writes most of these posts!:) He is serious about his beliefs and has some great material.