Matthew 7:1-3 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
Romans 2:3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way
Do you find yourself judging? I do, and am hearing a lot of judgmental comments while dashing to a grocery store quickly. There is a lot going on in our country right now with the virus, fears and anxieties related to that, political decisions, disparagements, and then the violence stirred up by anxieties, fears, anger, misbehaviors, disrespect for other opinions and rights, and so on. We speak of the Perfect Storm and I think of the movie of the lost fishermen off the coast of the Cape in MA. But things are simmering, in some areas boiling and people are acting in a damaging manner. We may be approaching a new and different perfect storm for our country; one we have witnessed in news reports in other countries in the past.
We all judge many things. We judge what and how to teach good behavior in our children and how we are going to train and educate them to perform with respect and proper polite behavior. There are times when we apologize to whom we are speaking with, to correct the behavior and ask the child to apologize for interrupting.
Judgment may come when we choose an outfit we used to love and try on now, and it is too sexy, too revealing and it makes us uncomfortable. A movie we may have loved in a time past now offends us and we judge it negatively. A trip to the grocery store may have us judging between two unfamiliar brands when the one we know and prefer is not available
But I am talking about negatively judging matters and then sharing them. I try hard not to share my negative thoughts and opinions. I may not agree, but I do respect your right to your opinion.
However, it is a time of a lot of unrest and judgment from some if the opinions differ, and the differences are leading toward violence and more and more unrest.
We are not to judge. It is written—many times, and repeated by different authors in the Book,
But the answer is easy. Really. At times it feels complicated, but it is easy. God created each of us different. We are all separate individuals with our own thoughts, opinions, history, experiences, values, morals, beliefs and so on. We are striving to do our best, for the most part. I do realize some live to cause unrest and unease, but the majority are good people trying to do the best they can in this life and to live in the manner that avoids trouble.
When harsh thoughts enter my mind, even in this turbulent time, I am easily able to remind myself that God has this, He is in charge and all will come about in the manner He wants. We all have choices to make, to live in the manner He wants of us, but He is in charge. And because of my confidence, I am not feeling fearful with all of this. Yes, I am avoiding crowds, but I am not avoiding people or opportunities that put me near a smaller group.
But there is judgment all around. Even Nathaniel, before he met Jesus, was judgmental, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” He was already facing this opportunity with a preformed judgment. The same is true of the Samaritans. The Israelites had intermingled and intermarried with this people, yet many people held the Samaritans in poor regard. Yet, Jesus went and purposefully went to Samaria to meet up with the woman at the well. Yes, we know that Jesus loved people, and although He knew their sins, He encouraged them to sin no more. He didn’t pronounce judgment.
And speaking of the Samaritans, I always find it fascinating that we have the woman at the well, as well as the Good Samaritan, a male traveler found an injured man on the side of the road and he stopped and offered aid, carrying him to an inn, paying the innkeeper for the man’s care with the promise that if more was needed for the man’s care, he would return to cover the bill. Yet, this Samaritan, this negatively judged man, from a village that was scorned, stopped and gave aid while a Levite and a priest both purposely crossed the road to avoid the injured man. That is on my list of questions to ask once I reach heaven. Why are there two stories in the New Testament regarding Samaritans? Because they were a large group of people automatically judged negatively by society and You wanted to show You loved all anyway? Or to demonstrate that all (even Samaritans) have a capacity to demonstrate Your love and care for others? That You see into all men/women’s hearts?
We are not supposed to judge others. And it is clear that by the same measure we use to pass judgment on others, that is how we will be judged. I know I can be harsh, and I do not want someone as harsh as myself to be my judge. We need to be careful in judging.
There are some areas we need to judge and take care of—again our children’s or grandchildren’s misbehavior, lovingly confronting someone within the church who is not living within God’s will. We cannot judge them, but we can lovingly help them realize they might be engaging in something that will displease God.
But judgment is easy to slide into. One has to be on guard against the slide. Yet like now, that can be difficult. We hear others speaking judgments all around us, and can easily slip into the conversation and spew our judgment, opinion.
We must guard our thoughts and judgments. Lord, I ask that You always remind me to not judge others, to hold my judgments and to keep negative thoughts to myself. Let me share in a kindly manner toward all for me and ‘mybellaviews.’