I was teaching a VBS adult class last week and made a statement about not attending the worship assembly that hit me as being a personal judgment as soon as I heard it leaving my mouth. Too late! We talked at length in the class about the statement I made and the idea of assembling with the saints. Yet, I had a restless sleep that night because I did not stop thinking about this idea of judging others. Scripture teaches us that our thoughts can be sinful just as our actions. One example, judging the righteousness and sins of others. We are not to judge others by our thinking, our actions, and our words. We are not in a position to make those judgements because each one of us is weak and guilty of sin. Only our Lord and God is righteous. Only he can judge us. The Lord is warning us to not judge ourselves by the judgement we impose on others because they will impose that same judgment on us.
We judge others by the way feel about them and our attitude toward them, as Jonah did toward Nineveh (Jonah 4). We judge others by the way we treat them, as described by James in 2:1-13. We judge others by the message and tone of our words. This is the kind of judgement the Lord warns us against.
Judge myself first and submit to God’s grace, wisdom, and teaching to remove my own faults. This is what Jesus instructs each one of us to do. If we do that, then we will be able to help one another with our struggles. We will be able to instruct, encourage, exhort, and lift up one another without hinderance.
However, there are times when people want to holler “Don’t judge me!” because they know they’re doing what God does not want for their lives. The Lord teaches us not to cast judgement on someone for what we ourselves are guilty of given that he is the Ultimate Judge. He did not say that He would not judge us. In fact, he teaches and warns us that he will judge us, now and on the final judgment day. He judges each one and every one of us by His truth because it is the light that exposes and expels the darkness. He also teaches us that we judge ourselves by our own choices and actions, judge ourselves by their fruits (consequences). I do not judge by teaching the truth of God found in the scriptures. The truth of God is judging you. I am not judging you when I try to help you see the fruits of your choices and actions. You are judging yourself.
So, may we have the love for one another that will edify with the Word of God and reserve judgement for the Lord. May we also have the faith and will to submit to God’s Word, even it judges us. May we have the wisdom and discernment to see the judgment giving by the fruit of what we do and choose the right path.
Matthew 7. John 3. John 8. 1 John 1.