Isaiah 59:14-15 “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth has fallen in the streets and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment.”
I am afraid that we have lost our way in America. For too long we have been fed this anti-biblical principle that no one is allowed to judge anyone for anything, and we are all just supposed to love one another no matter how the other person behaves or what the other person believes even if those beliefs are contrary to our own. We are being told over and over that tolerance is the way forward, and we all need to be accepting of others.
The only problem with this is those who are calling for others to not judge set themselves up as the arbiters and judges of all that is judgmental. In other words they judge others while exempting themselves from the same judgment they are meting out.
In fact, in today’s modern culture, “judge not” carries more weight than another of Christ’s one-liners, ”Go and sin no more.” This is a situation where a little Bible knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
JUDGE NOT and THOU SHALL NOT are not stand alone statements.
It is important to take scripture in context to get the full meaning of what Jesus or any of the other biblical writers are trying to say. Taken in context then we have our judge not comment below.
Mathew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
You see, Jesus commanded us to not judge hypocritically, He never commanded us not to judge. He asked us to remove the logs so we could “see clearly” to help our brother. How are we to remove a log if we feel that we do not have a log? And how is it that we learn about having a log in the first place? If everyone around us keeps telling us the way we see things is right and good, then we will continue down a path that we think is right only to find that path led us right to our own demise. What was the problem? How did we get here? Why did God allow me to go down this road? My friend it was because you had believed the lie that you should not be judged in anything you said or did or thought. You were blinded by a huge log that you refused to allow anyone to point out to you.
So then how do we learn about our logs or specks for that matter? We learn from others who have already removed the logs from their eyes, or better had the logs removed for them by the Lord through spiritual encounters.
I Corinthians 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”
We are instructed to judge all things….things…not people. Actions, thoughts and words are things. Choices are things, what people do are things. You should judge decisions and actions of others to decide if those actions are good or bad. Yes my friends some things are bad for you. Heck if we follow the teaching of these blinded fools and not judge anything then we will not be long for this life since we will be eating poisoned fruit. Who is it among us who will stand and say that they do not judge what they eat? No one would intentionally ingest poison, and yet many, for lack of judgment, are ingesting a deadly poison, that of a failed worldview. Their visions are clouded by huge logs. Just like a good chef knows how to pick good fruits and vegetables to cook with, and seeks out only the freshest and finest ingredients, shouldn’t we do the same when it comes to things that pertain to this life?
Yes we are and yes we should!
I Corinthians 6:2-4 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.”
“….How much more the things that pertain to this life.”
Only a fool would willing eat poison, or follow a path that led off a cliff, and using sound judgment is the key to avoiding such deadly consequences. The problem with sin though is its subtlety. It is not labeled poisonous and there are no DANGER signs posted on the pathway of destruction. In fact sin is very enticing, it has an intoxicating appeal. It is addictive. Like the siren’s of Homer’s Odyssey sin’s haunting allure leads all to their destruction.
We all have specks in our eyes and our visions are cloudy, some even have forest growing in their eyes, therefore all of us need some guidance and direction when it comes to matters that pertain to life. It is where we go to get that instruction which could be a matter of life and death. Paul admonished the Corinthian church to set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. In other words listen to those who you might not otherwise esteem as notable. Many times God speaks through those we least expect and in ways that challenge our intellects.
How then can one know what is good and what is bad? Discernment is the short answer, but learning from others is probably the better answer. Allow others to look for logs and specks. Allow your fruit to be inspected by a certified fruit inspector.
Matthew 7:15-18 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
Jesus clearly delineates between good and bad, and exhorts us to do the same. That requires judgment.
Do not think too highly of yourself that you feel you are above reproach in all areas of life. Pride will surely lead you down the road of self-destruction because you will not heed the warnings of others, or listen to the rebukes of those who have gone down the same path before you. You will simply cry out in a loud voice…WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE while you are speeding along the pathway of destruction.