What has become of the word “judging”? It seems to be all the rage to use the scripture found in Matthew 7:1 to imply everything except that in which Christ intended. The subject of judging has been weighing heavily on my heart, so as I sat meditating and praying I decided to share what I believe God has revealed to me. I call it the "new" John 3:16 because it has seemingly replaced the older, more correctly used verse.
People use this scripture a lot to infer that you stop telling someone else how they live their life. I wish as Christians we could, oh how it’d make my life so much easier, lol, but if I stopped warning my family, my friends, even strangers about the dangerous implications of not choosing Christ before he or she dies, then I could barely consider myself a Christian! This word is all tangled up, and the world loves to use it to excuse their sins! We are called to judge angels someday, how much more to call to light works of darkness? Listen, “If your brother or sister sins go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” Matthew 18:15. Well, look at that, not even a couple chapters later Jesus clearly indicates there are times when we will need to go to our sister or brother to point out a fault. And look at this, “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.” That’s Matthew 7:5. Ah, just a few verses later! We have allowed the world to take a blessed scripture and manipulate it into something it is not.
Let me explain. In the first instance, God is talking about making an issue between believers’ known so that there may be reconciliation. How can one know there is a problem in the relationship, if one does not first admit that they have a problem with someone?! We assuredly are not mind readers, so if we are honest and truthful with one another, we may have an opportunity to win back a broken relationship, or the fella may see he needs to change because God will have a chance to work on his heart. This is a good thing!
In the second scenario, let me clearly define hypocrite. Christians are not hypocrites if they advise someone saved or not to stop doing something that is destroying their life or relationship with God or others. They are simply following God’s command to love everyone. Love is not always fluffy. God himself says he disciplines those he loves, and if you are not being disciplined by God and claim to be saved you may want to consider why not because no one is perfect! A hypocrite is someone who tells someone not to do something, but he or she does it. For example, ah, you shouldn’t have sex with her outside of marriage is the advice you are giving, but you yourself are having sex outside of marriage. That is hypocritical. God said “REMOVE” the plank. Remove your own sin with his help and become free, then you will be able to help and point others in the same direction. I hope that makes sense and is crystal clear.
The church is a hospital, not a mausoleum. Every single Saint in the church (if he or she is honest) is going through something. God is always dealing with his kids. I mean sure there are seasons of rest, but if you are a bone-a-fide child of God you will have trials that test your faith! That’s ok though because he always, always sees us through to the other side.
Ok, so here’s the main problem I have with the scripture judge not, lest you be judged . I see people use if for many reasons. It just seems like people “fit” it into their life the way they want. Homosexuals may use it to say to a Christian, ah, ah, ah, don’t judge me, it’s up to God. In which I must respond God has already made it very clear how he feels about homosexuality so no manipulating the word is going to change the clear remarks he makes about it. Now if you want help out of the immoral lifestyle like any other sexual sin God mentions in his word, then so be it, that’s where the church can help, but if you just want an excuse to keep on sinning, no amount of “Band-Aid” scripts pulled out of the Bible and misquoted are going to help you! I’m sorry, they are not for that sin or any other. Sin does not discriminate, nor does God, nor do I.
Secondly, I see many hurting people use it. They have been truly judged, truly made to feel small on account of others or the devil condemning then in their sin. They see their need, but instead of asking God for help, they keep an angry chip on their shoulder using the scripture like some sort of “vampire potion” chip indicating to all, stay back, don’t touch me, I don’t need you, when clearly the hurt and pain is so evident.
To me both extremes are not what the scripture means. When God say do not judge, lest you be judged, he’s saying don’t belittle others, don’t make fun of them or be them mean to them on account of their sin. Help them, correct gently, and do your best to live at peace with everyone. Now of course there are those that blatantly want to live in sin. There is no doubt about that! They feel like what they are doing does not warrant any judgment and that it is hateful to even mention what they are doing in a sin, even if it is clearly an abomination before the Lord. All you can do in that instance is state what the Bible teaches and pray. Anything more than that will lead to strife and discord and you know God isn’t into any of that.
So yeah, I had this on my chest for about a week now, but hadn’t really had a moment to share it until now. I think it is very important to just remember that if there is something that needs to be said God will be sure to tell you and that when or if you need to bring something to light, God has a way to do it, a timing for it, and I think most importantly mountains of grace stored up for it. We just need rest. We just need believe and receive. He is so good. He is up to marvelous things. Don’t be discouraged when you share hard truths. Jesus always did, he never shied away, it cost him his life, no doubt, but his example is supreme and beautiful. We have a trustworthy advocate, the Holy Spirit guiding us. We will never lose. It is written, we will not lose, so have fun, trust the one who has given himself over for you and know that when all the dust settles, we will be riding those ponies in right alongside our Savior! WOO HOO!