Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table

Judge Not?

I hope in this post I can clarify some things about judging others, true love, and condemnation vs. conviction. Everything I’m going to say, I say with a caring spirit and love, with a desire to steer us in the right direction and in keeping with Scripture.
Common statements:
1. We aren’t supposed to judge others or “don’t judge me.”
In Matthew 7:1-3 The Bible says, ” “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
What it is talking about here is hypocritical judgement. So many times people quote  the Bible without reading and understanding the verses around it.  Context is extremely important when applying the Word of God.  So when people say “Don’t judge or you’ll be judged”, it is taken out of context.   Don’t tell someone about the sin in their life when you are living in the same sin. Here are some examples: You get onto someone for buying a beer when you’ve got a 6-pack at home in the fridge! You accuse someone of talking about you or someone else when you frequently gossip about others yourself.
It’s not talking about telling someone that they have a problem if it is done out of a heart of love and compassion and a desire to see them set free. Sometimes even with our best intentions, people get offended when you, even lovingly, point out things that can lead them down a  terrible path. But consider this:
As Christians, we are supposed to use the Word of God (the Bible) as the standard by which we compare our own lives to and know when to correct our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
2 Timothy 3:16 says , “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
2.  “We are supposed to love them and not judge them.”
I’ve already covered the “don’t judge” thing. But let’s talk about true love.
If you see your child is about to touch a hot burner on the stove or run out in front of a car, what do you do? Do you let them do it? Of course not! We would do whatever it takes to stop them from hurting themselves, wouldn’t we? If you see your neighbor’s house is on fire, would you not try to alert them? Is it not the same with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and especially the lost?   We are so concerned that we will offend someone. And yes, they may get offended even if you mention something in a loving way. But our responsibility is to warn them!
True love does not let someone harm themselves and jeopardize their place in eternity!’
3.  “We are supposed to let the Holy Spirit convict of sin.” 
It is true that the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to convict of sin. However, if we look at the New Testament we see lots of examples of where Paul expressly called out sin – and that was in the church! One example where Paul warned them is in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
As far as judging others,we are sometimes supposed to judge. If a person in the church is doing wrong, we are to tell them about it and if they don’t repent then bring them before the elders, and if they still don’t repent, then they are kicked out of the church.
1 Cor. 5 gives a case where there was sexual immorality in the Church. Paul tells them to put that person outside the church! Then he goes onto say that people who are greedy, drunkards, or swindlers, that we are not supposed to even eat with them! We are not supposed to tolerate sin in the church.  We are supposed to deal with it.
Paul says that God will judge those outside the church. But we can possibly prevent them from being judged to hell, if they are told and heed the message.
OK, so putting this in perspective…. Does this mean that when we see someone buying a lottery ticket, for example, that we run up to her and tell her she is going to hell if she buys it?  I don’t think so. And I for one, don’t have the guts to do that anyway!
But if it was a person that we know is a believer, I think that we should talk to them about it next time we are together – as long as we are not being hypocritical!
But here is another another example. A girl is living a herd life of being in drugs, etc.
You know her. What if you were to tell her that Jesus loves her and has a better plan for her life than the one she is living, and that He’s waiting for her to come to Him. What if it takes 2 years of reaching out to her? This actually happened to a woman I know and she is a successful minister today!
4. “I’m not perfect.”  
Who is? I’m not perfect either.  I occasionally sin – we al do! But the difference is this. Let’s ay you hit your thumb while hammering a nail into the wall and accidentally say a bad word.  You immediately ask the Lord for forgiveness. We are not going to get it right all the time. That is totally different than just having a dirty mouth and using profanity all the time. The later is more of a lifestyle kind of sin.
One last point is conviction vs condemnation.
Conviction is from God and it’s point is to bring us back to God after we have sinned.
Condemnation makes us turn from God because we feel like there is no hope, it’s too late for me. So when we do talk to others about things in their lives, we don’t stop there! We always should point that person to Jesus, because there is HOPE in Jesus!
We want to love that person by telling them the truth and doing so in a spirit of love and concern.
And warning is not judging!
Love does not let a person go down a path that leads to destruction.
We can either love a person into the Kingdom of God or we can ignore problems and “love’ them right into destruction.
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