Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged, Right?

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged, Right?

"Judge not lest ye be judged" is the prevailing theme in our day; but Christians are actually called to judge - but in the right way...

Tags: judge, judgment, truth, love, judge not lest ye be judged


We live in a very politically correct world.

"Judge not lest ye be judged" is the prevailing theme in our day.

In the midst of all we observe as Christians, we are chastised to be "tolerant" of behaviors that are in clear contradiction to Biblical truths we hold sacred.

"Who are you to judge me?" is the proverbial challenge we face.

Sadly, most Christians walk away from any such challenge justified by the tolerance message that Jesus preached.

But sin is sin, right?

And truth is truth, right?

Are we not continually called to challenge sin and fight for God's truth in ourselves and in our world?

Can we even call ourselves "Christian" if we don't fight for God's vision in our world?

Christians declare a God that has set up a perfect design and an absolute truth.

As such, we ARE called to judge sin as part of our role in extinguishing evil from this planet.

We ARE called to be the voice of God for justice in our world.

But how can we be empowered to fight sin without being purely confrontational?

Here are three key considerations for passing judgment in a healthy way. This list will empower us to own our role as proactive Christians spreading God's vision in His name.

#1: We ALL Have Sin


The first place to start before we pass judgment on others is the humble recognition that we all have our own sin.

As Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Reflection on this fact is absolutely critical before we go into any environment of judging others. It is the fuel that drives a humble attitude recognizing we ALL have our own list of sins which deserve judgment.

Therefore, when we approach someone else in judgment for a specific behavior, we can confine our discussion to that specific behavior. We still recognize our need to address our own issues, separately.

We have no choice but to exhibit a spirit of humility while we judge the other sin we witness.

#2: Speak in Truth AND Love


Most of us have heard about the concept of speaking truth AND love, but what does that really mean?

In 2 Timothy, we find some helpful guidance when Paul writes:
"And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

Overall, when we pass judgment on others, we are guiding them towards the truth. The WAY we pass that judgment is critical. Love helps us shape the way we speak that truth to one another in judgment.

#3: Judge Actions, Not Motives


Our last critical component for healthy judgment of sin around us is to make sure we are judging actions rather than motives.

You see, only God understand the heart and mind of each and every one of us. Thus, only God is fully qualified to judge our motives.

God tells us in Jeremiah 17:10 that “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

While this may seem like a small nuance, it has radical implications for how we handle judging sin.

With this perspective we can simultaneously achieve a hatred of sin while maintaining a love for sinners. We exhibit concern for others who are sinning instead of self-righteous condemnation.

Conclusion


We reminded ourselves that as Christians, we ARE called to judge visible sin rather than be sidelined by the vocal minority.

But judgment is a heavy responsibility, and must be carried with a moral maturity that is rarely present.

We reviewed three critical components of judging sin with maturity that will help us effectively fight sin in others rather than purely invite confrontation.

These components include the following:
1. Exhibiting humility while we judge that comes from reflecting on the truth that we all are sinners, just in different ways
2. Speaking with love even as we speak in truth to others about their sin
3. Judging only sinful actions rather than the motives behind them

With these three elements, we can be empowered to address the sin that we see in others in constructive and loving ways.

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