Sunday, February 18, 2018

Judging Others

Matthew 7:1-5  " “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  “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?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

Romans 14: 10-13  "You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  It is written:  “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me;  every tongue will acknowledge God.’”   So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.  Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister."

        As you can see from the title of this blog, "Judging Others", that this may be a convicting blog for some of us.  I may be the most taught student of all, because I have learned a thing or two about how dislocated my heart is at times from Jesus' example.  
        "In His teaching, Jesus sets an example of how we should live and act in this world. Whether in parables or the Sermon on the Mount, He places very little emphasis on what we need to know, but instead on what we need to do. Matthew 25 is a beautiful example of Jesus revealing where our hearts should be. In describing the day of judgement for individuals, Christ reveals something significant about those who are accepted into God’s glory and those who aren’t. In the passage, God does not commend or chastise our beliefs, our doctrine. He only talks about how we treated those around us." []  Are your actions and words towards others that of a sheep or a goat?

Matthew 25:31-46
 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.   All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.   He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.   For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,   I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’  “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’  “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

         As believers, "our knowledge of God’s vast authority shouldn’t support or prop up our “I’m-right-you’re-wrong” attitude—it should make us quiver with humility. That posture of surrender—along with acknowledging both God’s vast omnipotence and Christ’s example of love and service—should bring us all to a position of grace toward others, rather than critique and division.  In fact, the Christian faith is all about loving God and others in the moment, even when circumstances tell us it would be easier to withdraw. "
        You might be thinking that we are taught right from wrong and that takes judgement.  Right, but our standard of righteousness is Jesus...not ourselves.  Jesus is the 'only' perfect and impartial judge!  We must check our motives of judging others.. does it make us feel better about our own sinfulness?   "Like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11-12, we can become trapped in a circle of comparing ourselves to other people. We can boast about ourselves and live as though we have the right to judge and the responsibility or the power to change others." []
        "Whether today finds you needing forgiveness for judging others or desiring assurance that no sin is beyond His grace, be encouraged by this: No one is throwing stones today; go and be changed by God’s mercy." []

There are three instances in the Bible where God calls us to judge others: [A. Howard]

1]We judge to keep ourselves from falling into sin and temptation. 
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
2] We judge when we help a believer sever ties with a sin in their life. 
Galatians 6:1
3] We judge in order to avoid false teaching and distorted truths. 
Matthew 7:15-16, 20