This is one of my current struggles. Not finger pointing so much as being a “Judgey Smurf”. I still get irritated with my perceived sense of injustices about things. Key words….. “MY” and “Perceived”….
Stop Pointing that Finger..
Is God a Republican or a Democrat? We, as Believers, can be the most judgmental people. We tend to hold onto the belief that, because we are Christians, we have a right to judge each other (and Unbelievers). If those who are being judged do not agree with us, then we most likely end up Bible-bashing them: “Well, GOD said in chapter _ verse _ that you can’t do_, so you’re committing a sin! And it’s wrong! You’re probably going to hell for that you know.” Does this sound familiar to you? Perhaps you do not use those exact words, but it all boils down to the same thing, and that’s judging others when you do not have the right to do so.
Let’s delve into GOD’S Word, shall we? If we continue on from Matthew 7:1-5 and read verses 3-5, we see that Jesus did not mince His words when it came to the subject of judging. He even used the word hypocrite to describe the person that was intent on taking the speck out of his brother’s eye when in fact, he had a whole plank in his own eye. Think of it in this way: Jim has been accusing Alex of sexual immorality. Apparently, Alex has been sleeping with his girlfriend,Stacey. As Christians, this will not do- obviously. However, it turns out that Jim (who has been doing the finger pointing with great conviction) has been lustfully looking at a young lady from church. Tsk tsk, Jim. Now, what did Jesus say about that?
Paul was an Apostle who knew just what to say about those of us who love to judge: And do you think, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of GOD? (Rom 2:3). No matter how much you try and justify yourself, GOD is still going to judge you. What you need to understand is that if GOD Himself did not send His Son to condemn us (John 3:17), why on earth are we doing it (did you see what I did there- on earth because we live on earth! Ha!)? So the question that you probably have now is: how do we tell/show the person that what they are doing is wrong? That they are disobeying GOD? It’s simple really. If you are not like Jim, meaning that you yourself are not living in sin, then you can proceed to Galatians 6:1: Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Paul says that you need to be spiritual, and the only way to be spiritual is to immerse yourself in GOD’S Word daily. Study His Word and by faith, apply it to your life. He also says that you are to be gentle with that person- which, by the way, is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. You cannot be gentle if you do not have love, and if you do not understand what love is (which is more of an action and not just a feeling), then study 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Lastly, you had better watch yourself- you wouldn’t want to be helping that person, only to fall into the same temptation. Always pray before you do anything- it will save you a lot of drama.
Okay, so we have covered nearly all aspects of judging within the church (by church, I do not mean a building but the body of Christ- all of us who profess Jesus as the Son of GOD), but there is one last aspect to consider. What did Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 5:11? But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner- not even to eat with such a person. This sounds like Paul is being quite judgmental, doesn’t it? Now we know that the Bible does not contradict Itself (contrary to popular belief- that’s another topic!), so what could Paul mean? Let’s go back a few pages and take a look at Romans 16:17-18: Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” Remember, bad company can corrupt good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). These people, who profess to be Christian and yet go against the Word of GOD, you must understand that they cannot be who they say they are. According to Luke 6:43-45, a tree is known by its fruit. Therefore as Christians, we are to produce fruits of the Holy Spirit. Those who are of the devil (whether by choice or ‘default’), will produce evil fruit in accordance with the deeds of the devil. My advice to you? Just walk away- do not concern yourself with their way of living- GOD will sort it out. Pray for them yes, but do not, I repeat, do not get involved with them in any way. We need to realize that GOD’S Word is absolute- if we are told not to do something, then we must not do it. If you are happy with taking GOD’S Word as is, great. However, there are some that want to know why. If you want to know why we cannot do a certain thing, then you better start reading and studying the Bible to find out, and if you cannot find it, then just ask GOD- but you better believe that He will do it, or else you’re being rather double-minded (James 1:5-8).
What about judging non-Believers? One piece of scripture will clear that up in a jiff: For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?
Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside GOD judges” (1 Cor 5:12-13). Pretty straightforward isn’t it? We, as Christians, have no right to judge a non-Believer. We know that GOD is more than capable of doing that so put it out of your minds. Your duties are to obey and love GOD, study His Word, pray without ceasing, live by faith and not by sight, and love one another. Don’t forget about going out to spread the Gospel, whether within your own community or jumping across the sea to reach those who are lost.
Ending Thoughts: Do not speak evil of one another, brethren (James 4:11). If you have nothing good to say, then do not say it at all.