Bible says “Judge not”. At what point does an opinion we have about someone becomes judgmental?

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Luis:

Yes, Louis asks. Or the least one of the two. Please explain judging. When does having an opinion about someone and or coming to a conclusion about that person move to making a judgment about them? I know I shouldn’t judge. I just want have to clearly understand the scripture. Judge not. Thank you.

Jay:

I like this. I like this. Maybe because I’m a lawyer. But I like anything with judging and because you’re INTJ with that too. My personality type INTJ. I’m all about the judging.

Wendy:

Well, you’re going to answer this. We have to understand that judging isn’t always bad.

Jay:

Exactly. There’s all sorts of different types of judging. And I think that actually gets to why the Bible is so confusing about judging. I mean, just in English, judging can mean so many different things. And the Greek word for judging also means a lot of different things. So let’s start off with I think maybe the verse that Louis has in mind and that’s Matthew seven, starting at verse one. Verse one reads, this is Jesus speaking. Do not judge, or you too, will be judged for in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.

And with a measure you use, it will be measured to you. All right. So this word judge, what is Jesus talking about here? It’s the Greek word Crino, and it can mean to separate to put us on Earth to pick out. So I would say to sort of like divide, to distinguish, to approve, to steam that second word to approve or steam. We see, I think James using that usage of Krino to be opinion of sync to resolve to pronounce an opinion concerning right or wrong.

Now I think that one gets closer to what we tend to think of for this judging. Okay. You’re right. You’re wrong. Or usually more like I’m right, you’re wrong. And then it could also mean to be judged, like in a court. Judge is judging you because that’s what they do. They pronounce a judgment to rule, to govern, and then to contend with of warriors and combatants. Probably like a Gladiator scene. So all sorts of these different meanings of it. But let’s look at more in context.

So we just read from Matthew seven, verses one and two. Now let’s look at Matthew three. Jesus is going to give us some more details of what this judge and he’s talking about it. So he says, 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. So going to Matthew seven, verse four. Now how can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye when all the time there is a ginormous 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 spec from your brother’s eye. Alright. So what is Jesus talking about here. I think he’s talking about here. Don’t be NIT picky with problems in your brother because you probably have far worse issues. And I’ve talked about this before on the show that usually I think if you’re nitpicking people, probably you have a bigger problem and that’s being nitpicky and being critical and being condemning and that’s far worse probably than anything you’re condemning somebody else for.

And if we look at glaciers, 61 Paul gives us some advice or says, Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. So what is he saying here? Go easy on somebody who’s messing up, because you can also be tempted to mess up just as well. How often do we see stories of these pastors and these public figures who are known for promoting righteousness and then they have a huge affair or a huge scandal and seems to bring them down.

I mean, nobody is beyond being tempted and dragged down. Satan is working hard on everybody. So always know you could be the next one to screw up big time and have big problems. I mean, we’re all sinners. We’ve all sinned.

Wendy:

So always keep that these verses you’re bringing up here are profoundly deep when we really think about it. Like the idea of taking the spec out of someone else’s eye when there’s literally like a plank in our eye. I mean, it’s not literal, but it’s a figure of speech that we’re making something small to somebody else. Huge, probably because it’s huge to us for some reason. But why are we focused on that thing other than maybe it’s revealing something to us about ourselves that we need to work on?

That it’s something that we should be addressing within ourselves more so than what we should be telling somebody else to do.

Jay:

Yeah, that’s a great point. And that made me think of another thing, too. Like working on our documentary on mental health. I have come to so much appreciate more how just our past experiences or traumas things we have gone through the way we are raised as kids makes us who we are today. And if we understand someone’s background their history, suddenly all those things that seem really crazy to us and unexplainable and like, wow, what’s wrong with this person? Suddenly it all makes sense. And you now feel so bad for that person because you’re realizing they’re struggling and they’re doing an amazing job despite their challenges.

Wendy:

And now you have a completely different understanding of that person and this idea of restoring them to righteousness. We often want to pick on something that is not perfect in somebody else. And again, this is often a reflection of something that is not perfect in us. But instead of working on it in us, we go and pick on it in somebody else.

Jay:

Exactly.

Wendy

But what’s going to restore another person to righteousness is not necessarily. It’s not picking on those little problems that we have with them. It’s uplifting them. It’s meeting their needs, where they are at in the path of where God is calling them to be, which has nothing to do with us other than the fact that God’s giving us an opportunity to be a blessing and a conduit of His love in their life.

Jay:

That’s an important point there that we will get to in a moment. That’s the big part. That’s where lies the rub. So let’s go to we’re still in Matthew chapter seven. Let’s move on to verse six. Now we just looked at verse five. Right? So Jesus says, don’t judge. Don’t worry about the speck in your brother’s eye. But the very next verse, verse six, look at this, he says, do not give dogs what is sacred. Do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they will trample them under feet and turn and tear you into pieces.

Jesus here is actually telling you, exercise discernment and judgment. Jesus doesn’t say, don’t ever judge. Don’t use discernment. No. There’s the right time to do it. And like often we throw Bible verses. We throw the Bible at people who just aren’t ready for it. Don’t care about it. Someone a big Bible. They could just go and throw it in the trash can the next moment. And I’m not saying, don’t give the Bible to people. Sometimes they just store it and at the right time they’ll pull it out.

But this is this concept. We need to use discernment when we’re going to be giving gems of truth to people nowadays. We’re just always just trying to Slam people with truth and it’s counterproductive. Okay. So Matthew seven, still in Matthew seven, notice, we’re not going anywhere. Jesus is going to give us more clues of when judging might be okay. Jesus says in Matthew seven, verse 15, beware of false prophets who come to you in Shape’s clothing, so they look like they’re good. But inwardly they are ravenous Wolves.

You will know them how by their fruits, by their fruits dominate great from thorn bushes or fix from thistles. Even so, every tree bears good fruit. But a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore be the fruits by the fruits. You will know them. Is he telling us to judge here or use judgment? Yes. Is he telling us to judge people?

Wendy:

He’s telling us to use judgment.

Jay:

And what are we judging about?

Wendy:

I think it is judgment about people.

Jay:

But it’s mostly about what they do.

Wendy:

Yeah. It’s about the actions, the behaviors, even to some extent, the character character is very important to be able to judge and discern when someone has a good character versus when they don’t, even if we don’t agree with them, even if they say something that doesn’t feel good to us. But if it’s you know, if they are a person who is caring and looking out for our best interest, even though it doesn’t feel right to us, we are supposed to look for those types of things.

Jay:

So what we actually see here about especially watching fruit of people to make sure there aren’t false profits. If they are false, profit is sort of implied in there that they look like they’re a Prophet. They look like they’re in the Church. So this is about very much using judgment for people who are within your congregation, within your Church claiming to be Christians. Those are people, especially we need to use judgment about and we’re not judging them. We’re not saying, are they saved or not? Let’s say you take it for granted, but you need to watch out for especially are they going to be in Church leadership?

Are they preaching because they’re going to have an influence of people around them? And it’s very important then for the Church to be very careful of who they put in positions of influence.

Wendy:

And are they revealing the spirit and character of God in their life and in what they’re doing? Or are they revealing the spirit and character the enemy?

Jay:

Do they show up and leave a Church in chaos? Or do they bring more harmony to the Church? Did they cause divorces and people being unhappy, or did they bring joy and make better relationships like what is the result of the message they’re preaching? And we look at one. John 411, one of the most important Bible verses on this topic. It says, Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God. Because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Wendy:

It’s 1 John 4:1 not 11.

Jay:

I could go on and on. There’s so many verses on judging. It’s such a deep topic, but really most important is don’t be looking to bring condemnation on people. Don’t be looking to be critical of people. Paul has so many words against that, especially Romans 14. Read that whole chapter.

Wendy:

I think this who is?

Jay:

Oh yeah, let’s end with this. There’s a great way to end it. Romans 833 to 34, who shall bring a charge against God’s elect. It is God who justifies who is he who condemns it? Is Christ who died. And Furthermore, it is also risen who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us? If God is with us, if he died for us, who are we to condemn others? What right do we have it’s God’s role for that? We just need to make sure we’re hanging out with people that are going to help us have a better, closer walk with God.

Don’t worry about their salvation. Don’t worry about their good or bad. But where are they taking us? Where are they taking other people?

Wendy:

And are they making intercession for us? And are we making intercession for somebody who’s struggling or someone who has a need or who somehow judges us incorrectly or wrongs us in some way? Are we making intercession for them.

Jay:

Bringing good fruits …

Wendy:

Trying to bring God reconciliation into their life? Or are we just using Satan’s character and condemning people?

Jay:

Sowing seeds of discord.

 


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