Don’t judge me! How often have you heard those words? Maybe it was at work, maybe it was friend, and maybe it was a family member who warned not to judge! The Bible says in Mathew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged NKJV. But can you really live without judging?
Obviously, you make judgements everyday whether you want to or not. You judge how you spend your time. You judge who you want to hang out with. You judge how you respond to the actions or comments of others. You judge how to discipline your child. You judge the actions and words of your spouse. There are a thousand and one judgments you make every day, consciously or subconsciously. Besides, the Bible says you are to make judgments about right or wrong and good or evil. Judging is an essential part of life. So how can you judge correctly? As a Christian, how can you make righteous judgments? John 7:24
The first principle of making righteous judgments is to walk humbly with your God. For when you are in a right relationship with Him you are far less likely to be critical and judgmental of others. In Mathew seven when the Bible says to Judge not, that you be not judged it goes on to say to take the log out of our own eye, before removing the spec from our neighbor’s eyes. So Jesus was not saying you cannot judge, He was saying to make sure you are living correctly before you judge another. He didn’t want you to be a hypocrite by saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. You need to live godly yourself. Do you display maturity in your Christian walk? Is the fruit of the spirit evident in your life? Do you walk in love?
Paul writes in I Timothy three that a Bishop must be blameless and have a good testimony among those who are outside. Sure, not everyone is going to be a bishop or wants to be a bishop, but the principle applies to all Christians. You are to live above reproach. That is you are to live free of sinful habits and those things that might hold you back in your Christian walk. You are to live such a life that others can’t honestly blame you for wrong. It doesn’t mean that God expects you to live a sinless life; He wants you to walk humbly before your God!
The second principle for making righteous judgments is to love mercy. 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 NKJV. Paul wrote, when one is overtaken, sort of side swiped, by sin, those who are spiritual, those who are mature in the faith, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. God desires mercy more than sacrifice. Mathew 12:7
You shouldn’t be quick to condemn and destroy when another falls into sin, rather you should seek to restore, to mend, to adjust those in a spirit of gentleness – act with mercy! You should do unto your neighbor as you would have them do unto you. For with the same measure you use it, it will be measured back to you. Jesus was quick to love, forgive and restore those caught in sin, yet He was stern and strong towards those who lived a hypocritical life. So speak and do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12, 13 NKJV You too should be quick to love, restore and forgive others when caught in sin; you should love mercy for it triumphs over judgment.
To do justly is the third principle for making righteous judgments. Mathew 5:13, 14 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. NKJV Jesus told Christians to be the salt and the light of the world. As a Christians you don’t have to compromise on those things that God calls sin. You must stand up for righteousness. You must stand up for those things God calls good; and you must stand against those things God calls wicked, evil and sin. You must stand up for what is right and stand against what is wrong, but while you stand against sin, you must not condemn and/or look down upon the sinner. James warned of showing preferential treatment and said, Have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts. James 2:4 NKJV You should do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. You should do justly!
So how do you make righteous judgments? Perhaps the Prophet Micah summed it up best. He wrote, He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NKJV