Monday, August 11, 2014

You're Judging Me...

You're so judgemental...
Judge and you will be judged...

One only has to log in to Facebook and there's bound to be a number of statuses in which the person is claiming they feel 'judged'.  But like many words in the English language, 'judging' seems to have lost its original meaning.

I'm not sure I know what it means either, but I know what it's not.

Today, to judge someone seems to merely mean you disagree with them.  Or you haven't told them they're 'awesome' for the poor decisions they're making.  It doesn't even have to mean that someone has directly confronted them either; it could just mean someone has shared something on Facebook which has pricked their conscience, and now they feel 'judged'.

And it seems that just as many Christians as non-Christians misquote the Bible when they feel 'judged'.  In the end, to them, the Bible passages on judging others look something like this:

But the Bible is not anti-judging.  We are told that God is our judge and that He is the only one who judges righteously and fairly.  We are all sinful and therefore flawed in our judgement of ourselves and others.  But 1 Corinthians 5 shows us that there IS a place for Christians judging one another.  We are to judge those inside the church (our brothers and sisters in Christ), but we are not judge the world (non-Christians).
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you." - 1 Corinthians 5:12-13
Judging may seem harsh, but it is for God's glory, our love for the person, and the health of the church.  Judging is done out of love with the hope that they will stop what they're doing and turn back (in the case of 1 Corinthians 5, sexual immorality).

Matthew 7, the passage so famously quoted as being anti-judging, is saying do not judge hypocritically.  It is not saying do not ever speak up against serious sin, but that you look at yourself soberly first, making sure you are not committing the very sin you are accusing your brother or sister of.
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. - Matthew 7:5

No-one likes to be confronted about their behaviour, even if they know it is wrong.  I certainly don't want to be criticised for every little thing.  Obviously there are cults out there that do this very badly.  I think we need to be very careful when confronting others, asking ourselves if the person is actually sinning, or just doing something differently to us.  There is way to go about doing it, gently and wisely.  Like a court judge does not make a judgement before he/she has all of the facts, neither should we.

But the present climate seems to be that everyone just does what they want, and if you're a good friend you'll just pat them on the back, no matter what.  No-one is allowed to disagree or speak up because we're all imperfect.  I don't like confrontation, but that doesn't sit well with me at all.

My thought processes feel very undeveloped at this stage.  Has anyone got anything on judging they would like to add?

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