Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
John 7:24 (NKJV).
So, what exactly is Jesus’ teaching about judging?
Jesus said to the Jewish leaders, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." John 7:24 (NKJV). This excellent verse gives us a needed balance that helps us unravel what Jesus really taught on this subject. There are times when we must not judge but there are also times we are to judge with righteous judgment. The question we must ask then is, "What is righteous judgment and what is unrighteous judgment?"
It is important to know when to judge and when not to because the consequences can be dire. If we judge when we are not supposed to then, according to Matthew 7:2, we will reap judgment back in our own life and bring others under unnecessary condemnation, even stumbling other Christians (Romans 14:13), maybe causing them to sin. If we do not judge when we are supposed to then we are protecting others in their sins and indirectly showing that it alright for them to continue sinning.
"Righteous judgment" basically means we can judge when we have the right to judge. When do we have the right to judge? As we have seen, we can only judge when there is no unconfessed sin in our lives, especially in the area we are judging. And, as we shall see, we should only judge when we have the authority given to us to do so, judging only in the area of clear cut morality as revealed in Scripture.
The problem is we tend to judge when we shouldn't and not judge when we should!
We tend to judge according to what we see externally (by sight) and not according to how a person measures up to the Word (by faith). Over the next few days I will be looking at important Scriptures showing us when we should and should not judge.
We should judge with righteous judgment,
But what does that really mean?
It means to judge when we have the right
And not merely from what we have seen.
"Father, You are the righteous judge. Help me to be like you and only judge when I have the right to do so and to keep my mouth shut at all other times! Amen."