It’s almost comical how sensitive our generation has become to the judgments of others. I am not excluding myself; I hate being criticized, especially by friends and family. But what I find funny is that we can no longer even say how we feel about something or how we believe about an issue without someone feeling judged.
Let’s examine where this idea of “don’t judge me” came from. Matthew 7:1-3 states
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Now let’s take a closer look at the definition of judgment:
- The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
The truth is that we as humans make judgments almost constantly. We are reasoning creatures and we must judge situations and people in order to arrive at sensible conclusions. So who was Jesus talking to in this famous Bible passage?
Jesus was talking to the self-righteous, not the righteous. He was talking to the religious people who thought they knew everything and used the Scriptures to beat people over the head. We all know the type; the ones who feel they were put on this earth to teach everyone what is right and what is wrong. They don’t take the time to truly love on people, have lunch often, call them weekly, and have a real relationship with them outside of church walls and social media; but somehow they feel they have the right to send private messages on Facebook and say things that seem religious and spiritual, but makes the receiver feel small. Jesus had much greater tolerance for whores and drunks than He did for people like this. He was saying to these kinds, “Stop trying to teach others how to live with your arrogant spirituality and deal with your own pride first.”
I have found that it is best to stay away from Christians like this if I can help it. They are almost impossible to change because they are blind to their pride and truly feel they are loving others by “showing them the way.” If Jesus couldn’t even break through this kind of person’s pride, I certainly am not going to try. But here is the thing, the righteous must judge to some degree. We have to be able to look at situations and people and deem if they are godly or not. We have to be wise. In our culture, there are many things going on that people say is right that God’s Word clearly states is wrong. We have to take the time to study the Bible, so we are not fooled. When we are well studied, we should speak out about our beliefs in the correct context; But, we must be cautious about how we openly present our judgments of people.
I once heard a preacher say that unless you would die for the person you are judging, keep your judgments to yourself. I think this is a very wise statement. We must earn the right to speak our judgments of people to them and we do this by having a close relationship with them. Sometimes those we love are going to feel judged by our remarks, but it is our job to be honest with them. If we don’t tell them the truth, who will? As in all things, learning how and when to judge out loud is a balancing act that we can learn through getting down off our high horses and centering our hearts on Christ.
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Nailed it! Always need to be reminded…as a recovering Pharisee.
Thank you for you comment Betty and I think it is amazing that you were able to see that you were a “Pharisee” and change. I find that most “Pharisees” are blinded by their pride.
I agree with this for the most part! I feel honestly that judgment is built into humans for protection in the sense as a parent you judge the people your children hang out with to protect them! Or even judging people as an adult to not surroud your self with bad company! I think making snap judgements can be hurtful but ultimately we need to be cautious of who is in our lives and you have to make a judgement call on the right and wrong people! I feel it’s Gods way of testing us!
Joe – I totally agree with you! I think we should often keep our judgments to ourselves though. We can judge a person as wrong for our family without speaking it out loud and making the person feel small. Thank you for you comment! 🙂
Thanks for the comment! 🙂
Agree. When I’m about ready to say something to someone, I usually say “When I did what you’re about to do….” people tend to listen more when they realize another person has been there and done that and it doesn’t work. We’re our own worst “critics” or we judge ourselves judge a little too harsh and also sentence ourselves to a life of isolation and fear. Good post!
Julie – That is a great approach! Love it! 🙂