Yes, you can judge….
To turn a blind eye to sin is just as bad as condemnation
Two weeks ago I wrote about the question of whether modern-day Christians have become too judgmental and what we should do about the growing trend. If you haven’t yet read that post, I highly suggest you check it out here before moving on to read today’s post.
This week I want to focus on the flip side where many have adopted this ready made half-truth below:
Can you imagine a world where no situation is judged? At first it sounds like heavenly freedom. Nobody telling you what to do, where you can and can’t go and nobody trying to govern how you ought to live. The reality would be a complete disaster. Imagine driving on a road with no traffic lights, lane dividers or speed limits and no rules for driving conduct. If there’s an accident, who’s at fault with no court of law? If someone breaks into your house and steals, where can you find justice? Imagine a world where Martin Luther King and others like him decided that it wasn’t right to judge the racist actions of those around them and decided not to protest and stand up for what was right. To take this even deeper, your own brain is currently making multitudes of judgement calls every single second based on your environment. Stripped of this ability to judge without even getting into the science of it, you would probably cease to exist. If you go to the doctor with an illness and the doctor says “I’m not one to judge your situation”, what good is that?
Yes, the voices of the unheard often lead to this kind of behaviour above, but clearly this mother is making the judgement call that she’d rather see her son live and find a better way to express his frustration. If we are not able to judge one another, then the woman in the video above has no right to smack some sense into her child. The Bible actually tells us differently on that subject which furthermore gives us the right to judge situations, especially concerning our children.
Don’t fail to correct your children; discipline won’t hurt them! They won’t die if you use a stick on them! Punishment will keep them out of hell.
The thought reading is fundamental comes mind when I think about this famous ready-made half-truth that the bible says “You shouldn’t judge”. The problem simply lies in the fact that people refuse to continue to read the scripture and paradoxically make a bad “judgement call” on its full meaning. Let’s look at what the Bible actually says concerning this:
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
To put in plain English, what the scripture is really telling is that if you judge someone you better check yourself first. This alone proves that the end of the matter is that Jesus wants his followers to be able to clearly judge situations (v. 4–5). The scripture seems to imply that the goal is to help your fellow human being see more clearly. How else can we lead people out of sinful lifestyles if we cannot judge the situations we come across? Unfortunately this is where most of us fail. What often happens is rather than fixing the problems with ourselves first, we do our best to hide our sins from others as if hiding sins equals sins remitted and then erroneously go ahead try to judge another person’s issue. Telling someone that smoking is bad for their health while secretly, habitually smoking yourself would be an example of this hypocrisy. . That’s why the example of taking the “mote” out of your eye first is important. How can you possibly help someone else who can’t see past the error of their ways if you have similar problems to deal with yourself? A perfect example of this can be found in many police officers in the United States making bad judgment calls with “planks” in their eyes resulting in unnecessary violence and death in the process. This issue is very present in the church and was the main focus of my previous post on judging. Unfortunately that is only one side of the problem.
Today’s church lacks compassion. And the “version” of compassion it does have, is to turn a blind eye to sin.
Some of us simply refuse to judge situations because we are afraid of conflict and therefore aren’t willing to stand up for anything. This is often simply evidence of unresolved sinful tendencies in our own lives that we are harbouring, rather than solving. We would rather keep everyone happy (mostly ourselves) and live in ignorant sinful “bliss”. This is equally as unhelpful as the “trigger-happy” quick to judge mentality. It strips the church of the ability to maintain doctrinal and moral purity and literally puts the “light” we are supposed to shine under a bushel.
Christ does not call us to be timid concerning helping people find the righteous path.
There’s also one other important factor to consider. If a police officer stops you for speeding, their judgement call is not based on their own values and beliefs. They are upholding the law of the land and that law is judging you. Kick, yell and scream at the police officer for judging you all you want but if you were driving 50 miles over the limit, the law is judging you and the uniformed officer is simply the messenger. It is exactly the same thing with the scriptures. When you judge a person’s actions based on the scriptures (with the right intentions and no hypocrisy of course) you are not judging based on your own narrow minded point of view. It is the scriptures of God’s word that is doing the judging. You are simply the messenger. We have to be willing to accept the fact that people often do not like being told what to do and by God’s grace find ways to overcome the fear of conflict when judging situations. For we are here to shine Christ’s light to help people find the path to righteousness. At some point that will take standing up for those beliefs and accepting that not everyone is going to agree with the scriptural point of view.
Keep a close watch on all you do and think. Stay true to what is right and God will bless you and use you to help others.
1 Timothy 4:16
At the end of the day the problem here has never been about judgement. The issue lies within the intentions of the individual making the judgment call. Are they there to gently clear some mote from one’s eye in love? Do they have a “plank” in their eye clouding their own judgement? Or are they too lazy or too afraid enter and endure conflict in order to see someone come out wiser? Ultimately if we are seeking the will of the Father as Jesus did in John 5:30 and checking ourselves (1 Tim. 4:16) then judgements made will be rooted in God’s standards and not our own. Which in turn makes us better prepared to better others.
The fear of judging others is Satan’s plan to keep people on the path to hell.
Have modern-day Christians become too timid to stand up for the truth in the scriptures? If so, what can we do to lead Christians back to the place where we can boldly stand for what we believe in without purposely condemning others?
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