“Judge not” is one of the most popular passages in our society,
especially among those who reject Jesus.
It seems to fit
The thought is our belief system is private
And, of course us our moral choices are relative.
So it appears moral life choices are now adjusted
What was amoral or a lack of concerns for right vs. wrong standards us now moral
People love “judge not” because it seems to be a handy way of saying, “
“You can’t tell me I’m wrong.”
In all issues of disagreement & for certain in moral issue
you’ll see this verse swiftly pulled out as a deflective weapon.
Jesus is the one who spoke this phrase first
But Jesus didn’t share our presuppositions about private religion & relative morality.
Jesus actually was constantly making public judgments,
And yikes, many of those judgements were extremely aggressive.
In John 7:7 he told His followers that the world hated Him
because He testify about it that its activities & actions were perverse, twisted & evil
So Jesus didn’t say we’re all supposed to just throw up our hands & say,
Hey, you know, Who am I to judge?
You judge someone not when you assess a persons position,
That means judging is coming to a conclusion of where they’re coming from
But Jesus didn’t come to condemn but to save it.
There is a difference between speaking a harsh truth & condemning.
Condemning goes beyond saying “This is wrong” to saying, “I don’t want you around anymore.”
Condemning is being more enraged at someone else’s life choices
than we are embarrassed by your own life choices past & present.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said we’re first frustrated with the hypocrisy of others
But next we recognize that the same hypocrisy in ourselves.
When We confront by condemning others
we’re painfully aware of our own issues that are the same.
Condemning is refusing to forgive (or when you forgive you refuse to forget)
To refuse to forgive others is to be ignorant of the enormity of what God has forgiven us
True forgiveness is as Tim Keller reminds
“We forget by saying the wrong done to us is now irrelevant.”
To condemn is saying “I’m going to remind you of this all the time
and I’m going to use it as justification for being cold toward you.”
In other words, we don’t have any concept of forgiveness at all.
Forgiveness means absorbing the debt & offering love & goodness in return.
When we condemn, when we “cut off” those we disagree with.
As J.D. Grear wrote
“You just disagree so strongly with someone—
over something like faith or morality or politics—
and because you can’t agree you cut them off.
You say, in essence,
We can’t really be friends if we disagree on this issue.
The ultimate statement of judging condemnation is,
“Depart from me.”
Consider Jesus with Judas.
Even after Judas had betrayed him, Jesus says to him,
“Friend, why have you come?”
He says Friend. Jesus offers the hand of friendship to him—
Jesus offers the hand of friendship to us!—when we are betrayers of Christ too.
How can we say “Depart from me” to someone else,
when God doesn’t even say that to us?
J. D. Grear notes
“When we campaign to others & gossip to others about
our cause against another we’re castigate & condemning
The ugly danger of castigate & condemning is we’ve positioned
those we’ve condemned in the hell of our making.
And we do that without giving them the chance to change.”
We can mask it all with we’re“praying for them” or a classically say “bless their heart.”
We are so stiff at this point that we refuse to receive criticism.
Why do we hate criticism? Isn’t it because we hate to admit that we have faults?
Actually the face of criticism, we could say you right.
But I could show you worse things you didn’t notice about me!”
There is this Irony alert.
As believers, if we refuse to correct others,
We demonstrate we don’t believe that the Bible is true,
We demonstrate we don’t think the other person can actually change.
We demonstrate we don’t think the other person will listen,
By all this We demonstrate we we’re judging & condemning them from the start.
By condemning we’re demonstrating the other person is hopeless.
I thought that Jesus was capable as our Savior to raise the dead.
So no one is hopeless. I’m just as hopeless.