Dec 18, 2010

Do Not Judge . . .

 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37




Most of us, even those considered wise, have the tendency to rush into judgment. We hear one side of a story or a piece here and there and think we have the person or matter all pieced together--all figured out. We become smugly convinced of our own ruling in the matter.

Yet Jesus warns us not to judge others.  Does that mean we cannot call actions wrong that God clearly does?  Does that mean that we keep silent when others trespass against us and others?

Clearly, the answers to the two questions above is "no." We can question actions and call sinful sinful actions and behavior. We shouldn't always keep silent when people trespass against us and others; that could encourage oppression. Yet, some of us need to be more practiced in overlooking minor offenses.

I think Jesus is warning us not to assume insight into another's motives or to condemn people to nothing more than what we have pigeon-holed them. God knows all the circumstances, nuances, temperments and histories that lead a person to do what he or she does. We just don't have the knowledge, wisdom or evidence that God does. We can lovingly call people to the carpet for sinful behavior; we cannot render a judgment on their souls.

God is good and just. Any judgment or sentence he issues will fit the crime. Yet, we should be careful with how we label people or how we think of them in our hearts.

And if the Church must discipline for actions, it should be a communal decision, with  input from the wisest members. It should be careful to have as much evidence as possible.

I think Jesus was telling us to be sure to remember that God holds court and that we do not. God is the judge. We are netiher judge nor jury.

1 comment:

Brother said...

Wonderful reminder...Just recently I had to figure out a way to handle some one's judgement on a situation. They were sure the wrong doing was the cause of one person. I simply stated that there was to sides to this coin. That stopped them in their tracks and I was amazed that such a simple response was all that was needed. I was also happy I didn't get pulled into it and end up taking sides.