Thursday, September 17, 2009

Judgment and Slander (The judgment part)

Today I have a new topic to write about, and guess what! It's totally unrelated to calvinism! The topics of today are: judging, gossip, slander, and rumors. Avoid them all!



Beginning with the topic of judgment, I should take to first quote probably the most oft-quoted verse on the topic:

Matthew 7:1
“Judge not, that you be not judged."

Now this verse is correct, of course. However, it should be considered in context with the rest of the Bible. What do I mean by this? I mean that some people take that verse to mean that a person should never confront another person about wrong-doing. This is obviously not the meaning of the verse, since we are told very clearly in Mt. 18:15-17 to confront those who sin against us. What about the people who sin, but not against us? In that case, it is often a matter of discernment, because in Proverbs 26:17 we are told not to mess in a fight that it not our own, but also in Psalm 82:3 we are told to defend helpless people, and in Hebrews 10:24 we are told to exhort one another and stir each other up to good works.

With that in mind, what does it mean when it tells us not to judge? Before I answer that question, let me quote another interesting verse that pertains to the topic:

John 7:24
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Wait - what? It just told us to judge? I thought it said we shouldn't judge! Something very mysterious is going on here! Throughout the Bible, righteous judgment occurs. In the old testament, there is even a book called judges. In the new testament, Paul "judges" someone and commands that he be ex-communicated. Why? For the salvation of his soul. That's important because it shows that the judgment was done in love, with the desire for the betterment of the person being judged. We are called to be discerning people, and called to not listen to false teachers. To do this, we must each judge between right and wrong, from Scripture.


1 Peter 3:8
"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous"

Galatians 6:2
"Bear one another’s burdens..."

I think that these verses really shed light on the topic. When we use discernment and see that someone is in sin, or has wronged us, we should not shut our eyes to that. (After all, we are called to confront in love, and to stir one another up to good works!) At that point, we have a choice between love and grace or judgment and contempt. The fleshly thing to do is, when we see someone sin, judge them by looking down on them with contempt. That is not what we as christians are called to do! May it never be! The Scripture says that "they will know that you are christians by your love." Not by your contempt on each other. The other choice is too see that brother in sin, and lovingly help them by confronting them or whatever needs to be done!

James 5:19-20
"Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins."

And also, when we confront people:

Colossians 4:6
"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."


So basically, the Bible does tell us to see at other people honestly, even seeing their flaws. The Bible also tells us to love. So when we come to a situation where a brother or sister sins against us, or in sin, we have a choice between:
  1. Denial: Close eyes to the situation and let the devil continue to have him way with them

  2. Judgment: Look down upon them with contempt, and/or speak harsh words to or about them

  3. Grace: Confront the person, if necessary, in love, with a humble attitude of trying to help them and defend them from the tricks of sin: stirring them up to good works

If you are about to confront someone, check your own heart first! Take the log out of your own eye! (quote verse) Ask yourself: Is what I am about to say going to build them up or simply tear them down. Do not respond to sin by sinning. Respond to other's sin with graciousness, love, and awesomeness! That is what God desires from us, and gives us the grace to be able to do. Seriously, if you have a heart problem, pray and ask God to change your heart, and then go and choose to love people and act in love!

God Bless You All!

And THAT, my friends, is why Kangaroos should NOT be driving cars.

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