The Bible tells us, “Do not judge.” It’s so easy to believe that we’re really good at this. We like to think that we are giving grace to everybody, but the truth is, judging is a really natural thing to do.
Here’s a great example. You hear somebody say, “Well, I don’t have a problem judging.” What’s the first thought you have? “I doubt that.” See? You’ve just judged them!
And you did it about whether they judge! Talk about irony. Judging each other is that natural.
Sometimes our discipleship makes it even harder. You’re trying so hard to be a good Christian that it heightens your awareness of your beliefs about other people. You’re so conscious of trying to be good that you might look at a guy and think, “Well, I’m good. He’s not.”
You’ve judged him, but really, you don’t know anything about him. You might think you do. You might even 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 if he could hear your thoughts, he could probably say the same thing.
If we really think about it, we’ll realize that we’re not better than other people, even if we think we are.
So is there ever 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.
Jesus said there’s only two commandments: love me and love your neighbors. 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 the things that come naturally!
You know how people say, “Christianity is a crutch.” They say, “Christianity is the easy way out.” But Christianity is not a crutch and it’s certainly not easy. The Christian life is a very difficult way to live. It’s so easy to judge. It’s so easy to be hypocritical.
If I’m going to choose a crutch, I’m not picking Christianity, because Christianity is hard, man. It asks us to transform ourselves.
But it’s worth the hard work. It’s worth it. And so I pray about it. I say, “God, I want to understand what you meant when you told us not to judge. I want to understand it fully and completely.”
There’s never a good time to judge each other. The reason is that if we don’t judge each other, we will be better off.
We will live in peace and harmony.