We are going to continue with what we were talking about in our last blog about Unlikely People, but expand a bit. Sometimes we feel so unqualified, uneducated, not pretty or smart enough to be used, but as we look throughout scripture, God always used the broken and despair, the rejected and outcast to further His Kingdom. Why? Because if God can use the least likely, we can ALL see how His plan can include even us!
As we talk about how God uses the least likely, we can also see this opens a door for criticism and judgment on so many levels. If we look around us today and the things happening in our own culture and generation, we have greatly become so quick to judge and criticize people, rather than keeping our focus on God. We took a look at scriptures and people in the Bible that God used, as well as people in our generation that God may be using, so please go back and read our last blog titled “Unlikely People.”
The times we are living in are so hostile; so much division and hatred. We point fingers, bash, and have exchanged the love and grace of God for a common enemy. What we see right now is a great divide. There are those who are accepting of ALL things (scriptural or not) and call it love, when ONLY God defines what love is! We have those who condemn the opposition and judge. We just have so many people judging one another based off of their own ideologies, but today we want to talk about what judgment really is and what our responsibility is as Christians with regard to judgment.
There are those that say we are not to judge others, lest we be judged. Then, there are those who say we are to call out righteous judgment. So, who’s right? Both are! Let’s take a look at scripture!
Again, we are not theologians, pastors or Bible scholars, but we do have a desire for Gods Word and by the Holy Spirit’s lead, we will do our best to discuss what God’s Word has to say about the matter, not our opinion.
First, read Matthew 7:1 (TPT)
Some like to just quote the very first verse “ Do not judge others, and you will not be judged” and stop there. Some like to use that and take it out of context to support their way of living. We have to be careful that we don’t take part of a verse and use to support our ways. We have to take the Word in its entirety.
The scripture is not telling us that we are not to judge at all so that we in turn wont be judged.
However, verse 2 goes on to tell us that it’s HOW we judge, the measure that we judge. It’s in that same measure that we will be judged! What God is saying is that it is the attitude that we need to check when judging. We cannot make judgments in a critical and condemning way, pointing out someone else flaws to hide our own. Let us not be like the Pharisees judging with a religious spirit thinking we are better than they.
The verse goes on to say, “ Why do we look at the speck in our brothers eye, but not the speck in our own? Jesus says to those, “You Hypocrite!” Pretty harsh words from Jesus! But I love how He doesn’t leave it there, but goes on to tell us how to help fellow brothers and sisters. The “how” is by FIRST examining ourselves and removing the plank in our own eye, so then we can see clearly to remove the speck in another.
This always gets me because it doesn’t say we then judge with harsh words and criticism. If WE know what it’s like to have a plank in our eye, to be deceived and controlled by sin, then why would we not want to help our fellow brothers and sisters with the plank in their eyes so they, too may see clearly?
I look at my sister and I. Many times in our friendship has one of us been out of line. Many times have one of one of us been just wrong! Instead of judging, we examine ourselves first, pray and ask God to help us see what the issue is with US first! When we can see that, we can then lovingly go to the other and say, “Hey sis, I just dealt with this and now let me help you get through this.” That’s how Christians are called to judge and operate. Yet we don’t do that! We quickly forget how God had to discipline us and we go to another and judge the sin or deception they are in instead of praying and leading them!
So then how are we to judge? What are we to judge according to scripture?
Reading further in Matthew 7:16, it says “You will know them by their fruits.”
We judge according to the truth of God’s Word. It doesn’t say we judge because they are a different political belief or disagree with the way we do things. It doesn’t say we judge them based off of OUR truths and ideologies. And lastly, it does not say we judge because they first offended us!! We judge them by their fruits! So, what are the fruits?
Galatians 5:22-23– “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
That doesn’t sound debatable! It doesn’t say anything about judging them by what we believe is right or wrong!
I remember watching the State of the Union a few weeks ago and as President Trump completed his speech, Pelosi tore up the speech in front of everyone. I saw on social media, so many “Christians” applauding and commending her for that! It broke my heart to see such disrespect! Of course, when I called a few people out on it, they replied that Trump did this and Trump did that. I wonder if when we go to heaven and God calls us out on behavior, we can get away with childish replies like, “Well he did it first!” Nowhere in scripture does it say we have any right to judge because someone did something offensive to us! We are called to walk in the fruits of the Spirit regardless of other’s behaviors and actions! Disrespect was definitely not on the list of fruits of the spirit!
John 7:24 (NKJV)
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with RIGHTEOUSjudgment.”
The first part of that verse tells us how NOT to judge according to appearance. This is the problem with our world and fallen nature. We judge according to appearance or past mistakes. Last show we talked about Kanye West – God evidently spoke to this man and he had a revelation of who God is. Who are we to judge what God has spoke to him? Who cares who he USE to be? Who did you use to be?? We pray for people to change, for God to move in their lives, but the minute He does, we can’t accept and believe it!
The scripture goes onto say that we are to judge with Righteous judgment – by Gods commandments, the truth of God’s Word. We don’t judge according to popular opinion, or even our own personal opinion. Take YOU out of the equation and line your ways up with scripture! We are to judge ONLY by Gods divine law, what is upright according to the word of God.
“…Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”
Again the scripture tells us to Fear God and his commands, His word! His divine Law!
We Christians can miss what God is doing because we look to man and not God. We can be judgmental of the messenger, the man! Look at how we so easily uproot and change churches because we disagree with something the pastor said? We get so offended that we miss out on what God is doing through common man!
President Donald Trump- he has received so much hate toward him, his wife, his family! And I’m talking about from Christians! And to be fair, there were Christians that also judged and slandered President Obama and his family! It’s not right on either end!
We think we know them based off what we think is right or wrong. We judge based on our own limited assumptions. You don’t know if they’re in their prayer closet at night. You aren’t perfect! If you don’t agree with our President, stop judging and cutting out what God can do on his and our behalf and pray for him!!!! The Bible says in Romans 13:
Romans 13:1-3 (TPT)
“Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God. So to resist authority is to resist the divine order of God, which results in severe consequences. For civil authorities don’t intimidate those who are doing good, but those who are doing evil. So do what is right and you’ll never need to fear those in authority. They will commend you for your good citizenship.”
Did we forget that God puts all leaders in authority?? Who are we to judge Trump? So what if you don’t like the things he does? Just like we are to submit to our husbands, whether we agree or disagree, we are also just as called to submit to all authority placed over us, NOT because they are right, but because in doing so, WE ARE SUBMITTING TO GOD!!! When we defy authority on ANY level, we are essentially tying God’s hands to work on our behalf!!
Every day, we should all be praying for our leaders, our President, those in authority because their jobs aren’t easy and it’s going to take us all working together and putting aside our differences if we want to see the hand of God over this Nation!
1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG)
“Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.”