WHO IS JUDGING WHO?
I think one of the most misunderstood and abused Bible verse is :
Matthew 7:1(NKJV) “Judge not, that you be not judged”
This article is not suitable for people who are quick and swift to speak out “Judge not, that you be not judged”, whenever someone mention about the shortfall of another fellow Christian. I could stop at this line of writing, as reading this article is will be subjected to judging too.
So, in what manner does an action constitutes a judging in our daily encounter? I think it is very hard to decide on any given situation to know if it constitutes a judging or not.
In our daily walk of life, we are bound to meet people who would conveniently abuse the use of this Bible verse “Judge not, that you be not judged” even though the outspoken person may have the good intention of helping by revealing a person’s shortfall . Should not another Christian seeing his or her fellow Christian friend walking towards a hole tells and warn them about it out of love? Where is love if one can’t show love? Here are some categories of people who would intentionally or unintentionally abuse the Bible verse:
1. Afraid of being guilty of judging, misunderstood the real complete meaning of Bible verse Matthew 7:1.
2. Don’t want to get involved in helping another fellow Christian; best way to shut up the person’s mouth is by mentioning “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
3. Convicted but refusal to repent, easiest way to escape is to shut up the person by quoting Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
4. People who are legalistic and self-righteous, always judge people, usually easily gets offended and angry whenever someone point out their wrong doing and they’ll use the Bible verse Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” to shut up the speaker.
5. People who were prejudiced against the person speaking the shortfall of other Christian, they are quick to stop the person from speaking by quoting Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
There are other categories of people abusing the Bible verse but I’ll just restrict to the common five. In this article, I’ll try my very best to give reader the balanced view.
Why is there conflict against calling for repentance?
The root cause is rebellion, against the righteous, moral government of Almighty God. Unknowingly, all the five categories of people were being used by the principalities as agents to resist God’s plan for correcting one’s life. So, the next time someone talk to you about someone else, don’t be too quick to cut the person off, be a good listener, try to understand what is the motive of the person speaking, was it just for gossips or trying to solicit help. You have no choice, you’d become an involuntary judge in this sense, so be a GOOD JUDGE since you had already been in it.
By being a good listening, you not only show that you care and love the person speaking, but also showed your maturity in loving the other people that he or she is talking about, you are doing God’s will by interceding for His people, NOT COUNSELING! Do you not know that Lord Jesus is interceding for everyone in Heaven with His prayer?
Who is judging who? Let’s us not be overly smart, and self-righteous. Ecclesiastes 7:16(NLT) “So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself?”
Let’s us examine the category of people who knowingly or unknowingly judged people.
1. Afraid of being guilty of judging.
Matthew 7:1-2 reads “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (NKJV).
But these groups of people do not read and understand the whole context Lord Jesus was talking about.
Matthew 7:3-5 “And why you look at the speck in your brother’s eyes, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from you brother’s eye.”
Here the passage mention about “speck” and “plank’. A speck is obviously much smaller than the plank. What these means is that many times one tends to be critical and focus on the small imperfection in another person while they themselves have many bigger shortfalls. Lord Jesus advice, “Don’t be hypocrite, first remove the plank from your own eye.” Thus Christian who had removed the plank can, out of love, help to remove the speck from the brother or sister. Example, a person who don’t gossips can advice the other person not to do it, a person who don’t tell lie can also tell the other person not to do it, a person who don’t cheat in company sales can advice the other person not to do it, etc.
2. Don’t want to get involved.
I think this is very typical of many Singaporean. “Don’t be busybody, don’t get involved”, especially witnessing for fatal car accident, many refused to step out to be a witness because of selfishness, they don’t want to inconvenient themselves. Justice needed to be served; innocent victims lost their lives because of the carelessness of other people. The blood of the innocent cried out from the rocky road for justice! If one has love, let’s show love. The Bible mentioned that “we have to carry each other’s burden.”
What great friend Job had. Job 12:13 “So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.” They stay with him without talking for seven days, only problem is they speak the wrong things and wrongly judged Job, but you know what? They received deliverance in the end; Job interceded for them in prayer and restored their relationship with God. So, how can one said to have love if knowing that another person had fallen and yet not lifting a finger to get involved to help them from falling further, by praying congregationally.
“Bear ye one another’s burden, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13-34-35
In my youthful days, I used to be a good innocent guy, don’t want to get into trouble. I will not want to be involved, even witnessed evil being done such as people stealing things, someone beaten someone, I just want to be in my comfort zone of NOT GETTING involved by SPEAKING NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL AND HEAR NO EVIL. But today, I am a different person in Christ, I don’t monkey around with God’s given revelations, discerning of certain people’s spirit as they speak and it is important because this helped me to understand why a certain good nature Christian would behave in an unGodly way, a rebellion. Our Holy Spirit is the ‘Spirit of Truth’, He reveals many things to you as long as you are a willing spirit. I would be of no use to God, our Lord Jesus if I can’t speak out with His Authority!
Our Holy Spirit had taught me a great deal in Spiritual warfare, and I understood the Bible verse Ephesian 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
3. Convicted but refusal to repent.
I think these groups are not as bad as the fourth group of people; at least they listened; only problem is that they refused to repent. For repentance, one needs to have broken spirit and a contrite heart or else they will continue their sinful ways of doing things, keeping the “old man” within them. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart.” Psalm 51:17
4. People who are legalistic and self-righteous.
I think these are the worst self-righteous group of people. This is what Lord Jesus would say to these “White washed wall Christians” or “The modern day Pharisees”
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me. Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:7-9
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27
5. People who were prejudiced.
These are group of people who were being mislead by others by way of gossips. Thus they already had prejudice against the person speaking out the truth. The worst situation is that they tends to listen and believe the slandering of gossiper and totally ignored the truth spoken by the honest man. Here is the Biblical advice for those who listen to the righteous man.
. “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of the righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” Matthew 10:41 Don’t expect monetary rewards, but when they pray for you, Heaven will open up for you to receives blessings.
Lastly, remember LOVE RULES. Whenever you want to reveals the shortfall of other people, do it with love. The Bible does taught us the proper way to correct another person, this method can be used by any non believer also. Instead of spreading or talking to other people about another person (which will ended up in gossips), the best way is to speak to the person one to one, being honest with one another and possibly renew friendship.
Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone, if he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, thell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
For non believer, instead of church maybe family or company is more applicable. Here is the fact, unfortunately, the steps in Matthew 18:15-17 wasn’t follow closely by many leaders, they will stopped at their level and just buried in the carpet and the problems with the individual wasn’t solve and it spread to others like wild fire, especially dealing the habit of gossiping.
Here are some Bible verse that you can use along with your great love for people:
Paul echoes the point Jesus was making in Romans 2:1-4. This passage reads: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?” (NIV).
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NIV says: “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” KJV of this same verse passage says: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” So we definitely should judge all things (movies, books, music, and behavior of people).
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV says: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 4:2 NIV says: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction.”
Titus 2:15 NIV says: “These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”
Ephesians 5:11 NIV says: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
1 Corinthians 2:15-16 NIV says: “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
I John 4:1 NIV says: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Believers should test the spirits behind a person’s action to see if the action brings glory to God.
Titus 3:3-5 NIV says: “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”
For 3 to 4 years, I had been interceding for the same group of people and new ones through revelations. I had sent SMS, emails and wrote in Esharingportal.com as inspired by Him, hopefully to help these people to know of their shortfall, be convicted and seek repentance but instead of appreciating the goodness of God, they persecutes, spread rumours and gossips bad things about my good intention. Every year without fail, I would pray to Lord Jesus, giving thanks for what He had done for me for the whole year and also what I should do for the following year. December 2010 was a very remarkable year for me because our Holy Spirit spoke within me and said “Let go of helping these stiffed neck people.” But as I was declaring it in FB, our Holy Spirit added more words, so I ended posting “Let Go and Let out.” I was amused at this revelation and immediately gave thanks and I knew what to do. Then, while in spirit, Father Abraham spoke to me with a laughter first, “Son, what you trying to do? Even if Moses or the prophets speak to them personally, they will not change their heart.” Wow, with this rally on by Father Abraham, I could move on and let go of this people. Without fail, I had been making eyes contact whenever chance on meeting them, waved my hands and smiled to these group of people but they would just walked passed me like a rock of ice, ignoring me completely. I have many other friends that truly treasure my friendship, so I had to let them go and foster better friendship with my true friends.
So, the next time someone reveal to you about someone else or a group of people, DO NOT be too quick to shut your ears and said “Judge not, that you be not judged”, but pray for Gift of Wisdom and Discernment, be a good listener, ask yourself these questions first:
1. What is the motive of this person telling you these things?
2. Is the person saying it out of vengeance or unforgiving heart? (You need to discern the spirit of the speaker).
3. What can you do to help?
4. Do I have prejudice against the speaker or the person or the group of people mentioned? (If you have prejudice due to someone had already gives you bad ideas of a person, politely tell the person that you cannot handle this and advice him or her to speak to other friends).
Remember, the Devil also knew how to use scripture verses to distract and creates doubts in Christian’s mind, read the story of when Jesus went out into the wilderness and was tempted by the Devil. In fact, as stated in the Bible, the devil will plant tares within the wheats overnight (symbolical meaning of giving one evil thoughts while the person’s did not guard his or her mind, sleeping!). So, there is no surprise that those who are not in spirit would be used by Satan to speaks words against Christians doing the will of God, that is correct fallen Christian so that they may be redeemed again.
Which side of the fence you are on? Are you bearing the fruit of Holy Spirit? How can one say to be a Godly, or God loving person if he or she don’t hate the unGodly acts or behavior of fellow Christians? Do some self check, do you exhibits any of the behavior as stated below?
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers (gossipers), without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Tim 3:1-7
Here is the grand conclusion to the whole matter by King Solomon:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Eccl 12:13-14
Friends, do you have any secret things? Hidden in sub-conscious mind? Or things you swept under the carpets hopefully no one will uncover or hopefully people will forget? Have you ever preached wrong doctrines and swept under carpet, hoping that people will forget or don’t take notice? Do you know what? GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING!