2016-01-30 - Judge - Yes or No?
Please Note: Jan here. Would appreciate prayers for Richard, who is under the weather. Meanwhile, here's a devotional from another talented staff member, Rodney.
I recently overheard two Christian men discussing rather or not they should judge one another, and after a short give and take, they came to the conclusion that they should not do this. Stepping over next to them, I made the comment that they were wrong, and that the Bible encouraged us to do so (judge).They both looked affronted, and turned and walked away from me. Why did I say that we should judge each other? I said this because the Bible tells me so.
If you go way back in time, to the period when the people lived in the Book of Exodus, you will see that Moses (18:24-26 NKJV)“ appointed men to rule over his people and also to judge them.” Go forward to Numbers 35:24 and it says, “Then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger …. Now jump to 2 Chronicles 1:11 where God said to Solomon: “Because … but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people.
What did it mean to judge, in The Old Testament? According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible in the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, it means "to pronounce sentence (for or against): by implication to vindicate or punish, etc."
Now let’s go forward a few hundred years to the New Testament time, and the verse that caused the discussion between the two men.The verse was Matthew 7:1-2 which says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
The definition for the word judge in this verse, according to the Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament is, “To distinguish .i.e. decide (Mentally or judicially) by implication to try, condemn, punish-avenge, conclude, etc."
I am now going to assume that you agree with me that we are to judge; however, let us remember that we are not to do it hypocritically, or with a mean spirit. I also recommend that before you speak, you check and double-check to be sure that you have your facts right. After you are sure of your facts, approach the individual like a lamb, not like a lion.
Remember Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” In other words, be merciful, because you too will be judged by your fellow brothers and sisters, while on this earth and will also face Him at the Judgment Seat.
Are we to judge the unsaved? I say no because 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 says, “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person.” What this verse means to me, is simply that we should worry about the morals of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and let God take care of the rest of the world.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you today thanking you for your love, grace, and mercy, and for the privilege of calling you my God and Father. I ask you Father to please give me discernment between Your right and wrong and then make me bold and humble to make correction among Your children. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen
All verses are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted.