Wednesday, August 24, 2005

When Is it OK to Judge?

I have heard the term “practice what you preach” but I think that needs to be turned around to “preach what you practice”.


I personally have missed the last two Sunday School lessons discussing the 12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (Like Me). I don’t know how the discussion has been going, so this may have already been discussed. However, something has been nagging at the back of my mind, and I have been holding back lest I offend.


I want to know when it is alright to judge. The whole premise of our study and discussion seems to be avoiding judgments at all costs. We have read Matthew 7:1, and decided that we cannot judge others, and it is wrong to do otherwise. We have touched briefly on not being a “doormat”, but that is about as far as the discussion went on certain issues.


There are times that we need to judge and even commanded to judge, as long as we take a long look at our own lives first. Look at Matthew 7:5. It basically says get the telephone pole out of your own eye (look at yourself first) then you will be able to see clearly enough to remove the speck of dust from your brother’s eye. It doesn’t say ignore the speck of dust in your brother’s eye. I have heard the term “practice what you preach” but I think that needs to be turned around to “preach what you practice”.


Look at Matthew 7:6 and decide how you know who the dogs and the pigs are. It is by judging. I appreciate the study for showing that we are all unrighteous and unworthy of God’s love and grace and mercy. I believe that it is the first key to truly understanding where we were and where we are now in Christ, but there should be a point when you are continually working on your own life that you should be able to see clearly enough to help your brother see things in his life that aren’t right.


Look at Matthew 7:15-20. We are commanded to look out and recognize false prophets. How are we to do this? It is by looking at the fruit of their lives. If they are producing bad fruit, chances are they are not teaching the truth, or if they are teaching the truth, they are a hypocrite. This is a judgment that a mature Christian is commanded to make.


I could go on, but I want to pull from verses close together so that we get an entire picture of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 7.

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