To Judge

We live in a day when it’s easy, popular, and even preferred for people to sit back and say, “Well, what other people do is between them and God. Their sin is their life, their decision, and their responsibility.” But aren’t you glad this isn’t how God responds to us? Aren’t you glad that God pursues us despite our sins and pulls us away from that which destroys us? And don’t we want people in our lives who will love us enough to look out for us when we begin to walk down a road of sinful destruction? ~ David Platt

This had been a topic that is dear to my heart, but it had been a difficult topic to address. First thing to note is when i talk about convicting judgment, it is reserved for our brothers and sisters who are already in Christ in accordance to 1 Cor 5:12:

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

There are really 2 kinds of ‘judgment’, and we tend to take the more negative meaning of condemnation when we talk about this. But there is also the positive side of conviction and that is what i want to focus on. An example would be the story of: Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “neither will i [condemn you], go and sin no more.” It shows conviction.

Even then, when we start talking about judgement, automatic defenses will go up and conversations shut down, often referring to Matthew 7:1.

As we are all different, having different strength and weakness, it is our responsibility to be in a community to take on each other’s burdens – as soon as we deal with our own sins first and allowing our brothers to speak into our lives. We must subject ourselves under the same standard we want to use to speak into our brothers’ lives, for it is God’s promise that we will be judged the same way we judge others (Matt 7:2). But it does not stop there, God also wants us to deal with the pillar in our eyes, THEN to speak into the lives of those around us as in verse 5 “… and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

This is a very good example of us Christians being partial to Jesus teachings: Don’t just read verse 1 and 2, KEEP reading! We like to say, ‘its really not my place to judge’ in hope of not offending anyone. While it is true that God is the ultimate judge, but He also gave us the responsibility for our brothers.

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers ~ 1 Tim 4:16

So if you truly Love your brothers, speak up and stand for God’s standard.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good ~ Rom 12:9

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is nobel, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things ~ Philippians 4:8

“Nothing can be more cruel than the tenderness that consigns another to his sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

~John

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