Do not judge, the Christian is told. What does this mean? How do I not judge? I believe that we all judge, but we are not The Judge. There is a difference in that sentence that I will talk about throughout this post. I hope you will join me.
Let’s look at what Jesus says about judging –
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV)
DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. (Matt 7:1 AMP)
This verse tells me that if I judge my brother or sister for what they do, then I will be held to that same standard. For instance, if Jimmy does something I don’t like and I yell at him that he is going to hell because of it, then that judgement will be used against me by God. But, this still doesn’t tell me what judging is, or what it means. This judgement that Jesus talks about is, in my opinion, the role of the Judge. If we condemn others for what they do, we are judging. Condemnation is the action of pronouncing one as guilty. This is not our role. God will judge us, our place is to do God’s will on this earth.
There is something else Jesus tells us though. He says, concerning false prohpets that “You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?(Matt. 7:16)”. I ask, how can we know them by their fruits if we don’t judge their fruit? Fruit, in this context, is the deeds of someone. There is good fruit, the fruit of the spirit; and there are acts of the flesh, or fruits of the flesh. I cannot know the type of fruit without first judging it. For further clarification on the difference between judging fruit and judging a person – I can judge that an action (fruit) is good or bad, but a judge will sentence someone to prison or pronounce them as not guilty. We are not the judge; God alone is the Judge.
What are the fruits of the spirit? What are the fruits that will allow us to know a person for who they are?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galations 5:22-26 NIV)
If someone exhibits these characteristics, we will know they are from God. Now, for the fruit, or acts of the flesh, which are opposed to God.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galations 5:19-21)
If anyone has a question on what an idol is, I wrote another post concerning idols, titled, The Idol in Us. So, we now have the knowledge we need to know someone by their fruit. What do we do after this knowing?
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. (Ephesians 5:3-13)
We are to live according to the fruits of the spirit, constantly reaching out for them so they are who we are. For those fruits God tells us are the fruit of the flesh – “…do not be partners with them…have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness…”. Some may take this as condemning these people, but it is not! The scripture should be taken in the context of all scripture. If we do this, this verse and the one telling us to not judge don’t contradict one another. Not partaking in fruitless deeds is not judging a person, it is judging their fruit. We don’t want to feed our spirit with their fruit, rather we want to feed it with the fruit of God.
Hate the sin, not the sinner.
(I have to say that I didn’t choose the title of this video…and I couldn’t change it…)
This video is a prime example of what judging is. While what she says is biblical, it is not her place to condemn anyone to hell (as she does by saying these sinners are going to hell). This is judging. Hannity says it well in here, “I do not answer to you.” We answer to God. This fruit of judgement is not a fruit of the spirit, it is a fruit of the flesh.
One other thing Jesus gave us for instruction –
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 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 7:3-5)
This is also alluded to in the preceding video – one of the spokesmen asks this lady what her sins are. This verse is essentially summed up with “deal with your issues before you deal other’s.”
Judging is something we all, myself included, will have an issue with. We all fall short of the glory of God, but we are called to grow in Him, continually.
- The Idol In Us (eliezer40.com)