In the King James Version of the Bible, the word judgment is mentioned 294 times, according to answers.com/Q/FAQ/3261. In our moral society and with our freedom of speech and a much-appreciated democratic form of government, we sometimes appoint ourselves judges over situations we know nothing about. Our country is at a point of an enormous divide, because we tend to judge others by our opinion and not truth. If we choose to practice and live as Christians, then we must remember the core value of our belief is love and not unwarranted judgment of our neighbors (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).
Ponder this. A master carpenter about to make a most serious measurement forgot his tape measure. He decided to ask his three qualified apprentices to judge the distance he needed to make his mark. The three of them each came up with a different answer, and he didn’t know who was right. The truth was they could all be wrong, because they did not have the instrument to make a righteous judgment. As human beings, we sometimes make decisions or judgment based on biases, false teaching and personal perception from life experiences. As a matter of fact, we lack the right tools to make certain judgments.
The scriptures teach us as leaders in the Lord’s church, we must administer edification, as well as discipline, according to God’s word. Our judgment should always be based on the word of God and that only. If our brother or sister is overtaken in a fault, as Godly leaders we must love them enough to acknowledge the problem, be steadfastly praying and seeking a solution, without making public knowledge of this if it does not involve others and never judging without the presence of God’s judgment book, the Bible. Those who can offer this righteous judgment must first examine themselves and be spiritually motivated to align our brethren with God’s word, according to Galatians 6:1-12
Before we judge, let us take into account the scripture in Matthew 7:1-5. Taken out of context, this can be understood that there should be no judgment. If we take the view that judging is completely and totally forbidden, then that would make the doctrinal and moral purity of the church impossible to maintain. What this scripture tells us is before we judge, we should make sure our views are not clouded by our own unrighteousness. Be sure that our spirit is in line with His spirit.
A righteous judgment is not one that we make to ridicule others or to make ourselves look more righteous. It is made to help enlighten a troubled soul. A great explanation of a righteous judgment can be found in Romans 2:1-6. Our focus in life should be to achieve all that we can to improve humanity, humility, peace and love. If we judge ours actions against the fruits of the spirit, then love will prevail over all judgment.
Ronald A. McCarver is associate minister of Church of Christ at Bellwood in Lebanon. Preacher’s Corner features a new local preacher each month writing a column.