We have coined the phrase, judge not that you be not judged. But we all have some tendency to unfairly judge others. We subjectively make assessments about them, arrive at our verdict, and then “sentence” them accordingly. Consider a business manager who doesn’t like a particular person who has come to be interviewed for a job just because the candidate is overweight. The applicant may lose out on the job, even though he may be more than qualified. Some people seem to spend their entire life judging others. That must be a terrible life.
First of all, these kinds of people are never well-liked. Who wants to be around those who are preoccupied with judging others? Judgmental people tend to attract others who have the same type of critical spirit. They feed off each other, hoping to ease the guilt of their actions. Secondly, people who sit in judgment this way are terrible judges, because their assessments are not based on objectivity but subjectivity. Thirdly, “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged,” Jesus says (Matthew 7:2, NIV). That means we will reap the exact kind of judgment we sow in judging others. So Jesus’ advice is that you, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1).But let’s expand on this thought. Is it a sin to judge others? Not necessarily. Think about it; one of the purposes of Scripture is to equip us to make sounder judgments in life so we can minimize pitfalls in our life. For instance, the Bible instructs us on how to determine if a person is a false prophet or not. It also tells us how we can determine if we know God (see 1 John 2:3-4). I think everyone would agree that these examples refer to judging others and ourselves in a positive way.
In light of what I just said, let us revisit the two verses I quoted above. The important point to remember from these verses is that “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” You see, as long as we live in this life there will be times during which we have to make judgments about others. For instance, if you are a Christian looking for the right person to date or to ultimately marry, it will be necessary for you to make judgments about potential mates. When you do, you should make such judgments based on the teachings of the Scriptures, righteousness, and a reverential fear of God.To some extent, our judging others is a necessity of life. But we must always bear in mind that one day we must meet the real Judge. And we will receive the kind of judgment that we give.
Copyright ©2012 by Frank King. All rights reserved.