Proper Judging

1 09 2008

           

          One of Jesus’ most well known statements is found in Matthew chapter seven: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). What did Jesus mean when He said to judge not?

          Some believe He meant that judging in any form or fashion is always wrong. What is judging? It is expressing a verdict, decision, or opinion based on some process of evaluation. Think of an umpire in baseball. He first must learn the rules of baseball and then carefully observe and impartially judge the game according to them. The umpire is not to make up his own rules or show partiality.

          What Jesus condemns is not all judging but unjust, hypocritical judging (see Matthew 7:5). Unlike the umpire, we are all “in the game” so to speak. The rules are given in the Bible. All Christians are responsible to abide by them. All of us are to be loving, kind, honest, forgiving, and godly. There are no exceptions. What we are not to do is make up our own rules or show partiality between people.

          The Apostle Paul scolded (judged) an entire group of Christians because they did not openly condemn (judge) a sinful situation in their midst. The Corinthian church was not judging and Paul promptly denounced them for it and rendered judgment against the sinning individuals they were tolerating (1 Corinthians chapter 5).

                 

      

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