How can we love our neighbor when we are judging our neighbor? Why do we judge our neighbors, fellow Christian's, and friends? Who are we to judge the heart of another person? Why do we insist on giving blind opinions and erroneous judgment even when it is not warranted? I'll tell you why. If we can tear someone down it will certainly build us up?
Jesus explicitly said, "not to judge". Matthew 7:1 says do not judge, or you too will be judged. Jesus teaches us to examine our own conduct and our own lives instead of passing judgment onto others. But were so darn busy looking over the fence at what everyone else is doing, we donít have time to notice our own faults. I know itís easy to look at the way someone else does things, and pass judgment. But really now, is their way wrong just because it is different then your way? And even if it is wrong, who are you?
Matthew 7:3 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? We all have had planks in our eyes. The plank stops us from being the discerning individuals God meant us to be. Our fault is that we do not live up to our potential in life. God would really like for you and I to be all that we can be. Not in the religious way, but in the spiritual way.
If there were ever a time for judgment of another individual it should be from one Christian brother to another out of love for one another, and not for advancement of self. Meaning judgment had better be discerning rather than negative. Can you tell the difference between what IS right and wrong, rather than what only SEEMS to be right or wrong? I am suggesting if you make it a habit to judge others, especially fellow Christian's than you ought to do it with a sharp and perceptive eye. What if you are wrong in judging your brothers and sisters? Then what? Do you know their heart?
For instance, some people who confess to be Christian have not the Spirit of Christ within them. While others who donít even go to Church have the Love of Christ encasing their inner being. Of course, the man who doesnít go to Church will be the man who gets judged. Yet, the man who confesses to be a Christian doesnít even know Jesus! Where is the discernment?
Romans 14:13-18 therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead make up your own mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good be spoken of as evil. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
Biblically speaking we know that we are not to judge the heart of another, and yet, we still do it. Worldly speaking we know weíre not to judge because it is a cruel thing to do, and we still do it. I would even venture to say that Christianís are more apt to judge others than non-Christians simply because of the self-righteous factor blinding their eyes from seeing the goodness in others. Ironically, it is not just those who profess to be Christianís that reap the benefits of Christís principles, but those very same principles have been applied into the non-Christian lifestyle as well. Itís not a religion; itís a way of living.
If we Christianís believe our self to be blameless than we will not judge our own actions rightly. But as Christianís, are we not supposed to be the good example? I donít think the Christian representation is coming off too well. Too many planks, and not enough love. No wonder outsiders judge Christianís so often.
If I say my socks are red, but they are actually blue, what am I telling people? I most certainly will get a lot of bad publicity from a lot of different people, right? Iím going to come off as a liar. People are going to judge my character, and probably not believe anything I say. In other words, if a Christian says he is wearing red socks, heíd better be wearing RED socks! Be what you say you are!
We need to make our Yesís a definite yes, and are noís a definite No, otherwise we are going to come off as two-faced and phony. And we donít want that. How do we make a definite yes, and no? We walk what we talk! Christianís have this fault where they like too talk too much, but never get anything done. Letís first get something done, and then lets talk about it. It is as simple as that.
We walk beside Jesus, not in front of Jesus. It is a never-ending spiritually humble walk that goes on forever until we depart from this world into heavenly paradise. There is no vacancy left for holier-than-thou thinking because when we walk in front of Jesus, we become the wrong example. But in reality when we choose to eat humble pie over deviled eggs, we realize that we do have faults just like everybody else.
When we walk with Jesus it should not be made into a religious, political crusade. The martyrs have been there and done that already. The simple fact is Jesus Christ was not brought into the world to bring religious rebellion, secular dissention, and worldly disorder and chaos among men. Sadly, this is precisely what is happening. Religious philosophy is filling the people up with deviled eggs, and the world is disintegrating over it. Letís not make religion our authority, but instead lets walk the spiritual walk with Jesus. One way we can do this is by learning to love the way Jesus loved. Those other things arenít worth a hill of beans to Jesus.
The bottom line, as Christianís we should be more concerned with our own household first before anyone elseís household. Take the plank out of our own eye, and then we can see clearly to take the sawdust out of our neighborís eye. In this way we can sincerely walk what we talk, and have greater discernment in religious and spiritual matters that effect us and our neighbors in this world.
Our house (which represents our life and marriage, Matthew 7:24) will withstand the storms of life only if we do what is right instead of just talking about it. Jesus exposed the people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with Him. On "that day" the Day of Judgment, only our relationship with Jesus Christ will matter. Our acceptance of Jesus Christ and our obedience to His principles does matter in our life today. It is the most important aspect of our Christian walk!
Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident about their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable, "Two men went up to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: God, I thank you that I am not like other men.--robbers, evil doers, adulterers --or even like the tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breasts and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Copyright 2005/2006 Angie Lewis
Ė Heaven Ministries