Is it OK to judge? Or wrong to judge?
Why do so many people get up in arms about being judged? Everybody does it, and our entertainment is geared towards it via the reality TV shows. So why do people get so up in arms about judging?
Objections to Judging
Unbelievers are quick to point out that it is so unlike Christ for believers to judge them. Even most believers who are the object of scrutiny sometimes vehemently point out that Christians are not supposed to judge.
The basis for the objections regarding being judged is twofold. First, it is because they are being
questioned about their lifestyle or something that they have done and don’t like being confronted. Second, it is that they are being scrutinized about their belief in Christ.
Each objection is rooted in the same thing, their heart.
Scripture describes the heart as the source of life.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”
Proverbs 4:23. ESV
Though we are not to judge the heart as to determine who is saved and who isn’t — this is God’s job — we are to be judges. John 7:24 says, “ Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
What and How to Judge
What are we to judge? How are we to judge? We believers need to know the answers to these questions.
First, what are we to judge if not the heart? Obviously it is the observable actions that stem from the heart. If you see someone steal, you can rightly judge that the person sinned and needs to repent (or choose to stop stealing and return or pay for the item). If your teen throws a pity party, you can rightly judge that he or she is sinfully angry and needs to turn to God. When someone repeatedly commits the same error, they may develop a life-dominating sin.
Second, how we are to judge is by the standards of the Bible. We are to judge not by appearance alone, but by what the Bible says is right. Christ corrected the Pharisees in John 7:14-24 because they judged according to their interpretation of the law, but Jesus warned them about their assessment based upon self-righteousness instead of true righteousness, which is to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
What Do You Think?
Is it fine to judge? Can you name an example of proper judging? Or improper?