A Judgment Call?

August 15th, 2012

Does the Bible teach us that it is always wrong to Judge someone else or to Judge a particular situation? After all Jesus said in Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” On the surface this would seem to be the case, but Jesus has more to say about this subject. Jesus declares in, John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
The simple truth is this – We have been given permission by God to make very careful and very cautious judgment calls. This is not however blanket permission to be judgmental. To begin with we must honestly ask the question, What does it mean to judge? Is there a proper way to judge? Whom and what are to be judged? All of us have opinions on just about everything under the sun, and I fear much of what happens in this arena may not be scriptural.

The Bible speaks about this subject frequently. Matthew 7:3-5 says, “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.” In essence, Jesus is saying, “check yourself before you check someone else.” Once we have checked ourselves for any sinfulness and remove the obstacles of sin out of our own lives, then we can help others to see the bondage they are in and help them remove the same obstacles from their lives. It is in this context that judging has a scriptural and spiritual function.

Judging is never to be done from a critical of a pharisaical vantage point. The Bible counsels us in Galatians 6:1-2 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

It really is very simple:

1. We Only Have Permission From God To Make Very Careful, Cautious And Christ
    Like Judgments.
2. We Only Have Permission From God To Make A Judgment Call Regarding Other Peoples 
3. We Never Have Permission From God To Judge Other Peoples Motives.

This is why God warns the prophet in, I Samuel 16:7 “… for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” I do not, nor can I truly see your heart, therefore to judge your motives is to assume for myself a right that God alone has the right too. God is the only one who can see the heart and therefore God alone is qualified to judge motives. When I say stuff like, “I know why they said that” or “I believe he or she aimed that comment at me” I am really claiming that I am God and that I can see the thoughts and the intents of the heart. When we cross over this line our judgment just became sinful.

The most definitive passage in the Bible seems to be Romans 14:9-13 “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”