The Bible tells us, Judge not. Most of us try to believe we’re good at not judging, but the truth is, judging is a really natural thing to do.
This is how normal it is to judge. You hear somebody say, “Well, I don’t have a problem judging,” and you immediately want to say, “I doubt that.” Right? But that means you’ve just judged them! It’s that natural.
Sometimes our discipleship makes it even harder. You’re trying so hard to be a good Christian that it almost makes you more aware of your beliefs about other people. Because you’re so conscious of trying to be good, you might look at someone in your life and think, “Well, I’m good, and he’s not.”
You’ve judged him. But really, you don’t know anything about him. You might think you do. And you might look at him and say, “I know he’s bad, because I know what he did.” But if he could look inside your soul, and he could hear your thoughts, he could probably tell you where you’re bad. If we really think about it, we’ll realize that we’re not that much better than other people, even if we think we are.
Is there a time when it’s proper to make a judgment call? When the Bible says, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” is it really saying, “Don’t judge somebody?” Or is it saying, “Be careful how you judge somebody?” Or is it saying, “Judge only people in the church,” because of the fruit of the Spirit?
“Judge not.” It’s difficult for me to wrap my brain around this, even though it’s something I really want to live by. I really want to love my neighbor as myself, and that means not going around judging everyone. It’s the only way to get along. It’s the cure for most of the issues that come into play in relationships. And whether you’re fighting injustice, or merely dealing with people who think differently, things get a lot more clear when you don’t judge.
As I wrote last time, Jesus said there’s only two commands: love me and love neighbors. And recently I wrote about how simple this sounds. But it’s actually a very difficult thing to do. It’s all about being selfless. It’s all about not judging. It’s all about not doing things that come naturally!
You know how you hear people say, “Christianity is a crutch.” You’ll hear them say, “Christianity is the easy way out.” But Christianity is not a crutch and it’s certainly not easy. I would not base my crutch on Christianity, because it’s a very difficult way to live. If I’m going to choose a crutch, that’s not going to be it. It’s a very difficult foundation to stand on, because it’s so easy to judge. It’s so easy to be hypocritical. Christianity is hard, man. It asks us to transform ourselves.
It’s worth the hard work though. It’s worth it. And so I pray about it. I say, “God, I want to understand what you meant when you said, Judge not lest ye be judged.” I want to understand it fully and completely. If we didn’t judge each other, we would be better off. We would live in peace and harmony with one another.
God has heard my prayer and has recently helped me with a word picture that brings some understanding to this problem. See you Saturday.