To Judge, or Not To Judge

In today’s day and age, nobody likes to be judged! We like to throw around the words and phrases, “Only God can judge me,” “how can you judge me, when you have a log in your own eye,” “judge not, and you will not be judged,” and “he who is without sin, throw the first stone.” We(as a society) absolutely hate being judged. But why? We’re afraid that what we are being judged for defines our character, and we are to high and mighty to accept others pointing out our mistakes. Thankfully as a Christian, I don’t have to worry about being defined by my mistakes. I am defined by the blood that was poured out on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. I make mistakes all the time, and people most certainly notice my mistakes, but am I defined by them? Not a chance.

In the army, we take a lot of pride in our uniform and keeping it to the upmost standard. Someone, somewhere down the line decided that you can tell a lot about a man by his uniform. Because of that, you hear a lot of criticism by our peers and by our sergeants about how our uniform looks. They can get nit picky down to the smallest detail. It could be easy to ignore the criticism, especially from our peers because we don’t think they are any better than us and have no place to correct us, especially when they correct us with a bad attitude, or in a way that you don’t like. In the end, we have to look past the way they corrected us, and accept their words for what they are. Because when a superior notices that something about your uniform is messed up, he’s not going to care why it’s messed up, he’s not going to care that someone told you to fix yourself in a way that bothered me, all he is going to care about is that your uniform is messed up, end of the line no excuses.

We have to learn to accept criticism, even if it is delivered to you in a way you don’t like or hurts your feelings, because in the end, it is going to better you. Be thankful for it. I, personally, don’t want to be standing before God with Him asking me, “Josh my son, why did you not correct this sin of yours, I even sent someone to warn you about your sin?” and me responding with, “Sorry Father, but I didn’t like the way he told me I was wrong, it hurt my feelings.” Repeat that again, but place in your name and a sin/wrong someone has tried to correct you on.

In the end, being judged is a blessing when other’s call you out on your wrong. You’re not defined by your wrong doing, you’re defined by God. With others calling you out, you can be thankful that they’ve shown you the error of your way and you now have the opportunity to better yourself.

Who Are We To Judge?

1 Corinthians 5:12

For what have I to do with judging others? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside..

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Romans 2:4

..God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.

Check out these verse’s in the bible, read them in full context to see if you agree with me on this.

As a Christian, I believe we have no business judging those outside of the Church. In the end, what good is it? What is the end game of judging those outside of the Church? Where does it lead?

One of the reasons so many people are afraid of/stay away from religion is because they believe it is all about a set of rules you have to follow with incredibly high standards. We seem to teach the world that they have to give up everything that is fun, to follow God. We always seem so angry with the world. Why would anyone want to be a christian when we are so angry with the world and constantly bicker over God’s Law over what is right and what is wrong. We’ve all become such a slave to the Law without understanding what the Law is even there for in the first place. We’ve therefore taught the world, that following God is about following His Law.

To many people know God as a set of rules you must follow.. But  He’s so much better than that! He’s an eternal spring of joy and peace! The ‘rules’ are more than rules, they are keys! Keys to opening the door of joy and life! Nobody realizes that giving up earthly things actually brings you more happiness and freedom than what earthly things can provide. It’s a nice thought to think that God created the law to see how much you love Him by testing you with a set of rules. I used to believe that. But I’ve learned the God’s law is so much greater than that! God created His law to keep you free from everything that take you in as a slave, to keep you away from the things that make you feel empty inside. His Law is freedom. Just think for yourself everything that the world says is so fun, but God’s law says no to. Now think even deeper about why might God have said no. What is God protecting you from in each of His Laws?

When I look at sin, I don’t think of a set of rules, a list of what I can and can’t do. To me sin is simply a division from God. Anything that distracts or separates me from God is a sin. I’ve learned that everything that separates me or distracts me from God always causes pain in some sort of way.

When other’s call you out on the error of your ways, consider it a blessing. But please me careful about who you judge. Judging those outside the Church is pointless, it leads to nowhere. Instead, show love to those outside the Church, show kindness. It is God’s kindness that is meant to lead us to repentance. I can’t tell you how many times in my own life where I would think about God’s kindness and grace to me, and it would just lead me to repentance and inspire me to be closer to Him.

I’ve been blessed to be around an awesome college ministry. Something I have seen over and over again, is people will come check it out for whatever reason. They would have lots of ideas and lifestyles that you just couldn’t agree with, but they weren’t called out on for it. Instead they were shown love, God’s grace, and kindness. Next thing you know, they would return, then start reading the bible on their own, then commit their life to Christ, and God would work in them and show them in His Word what they are doing wrong and they would begin to change their ways. But it all started with love. God calls us to love those outside the Church, just like He has loved us.

Matthew 18:15-16

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

When you are to judge, those inside the church, don’t approach them like you are judging them to heaven or hell, show them in love and in private the error of their ways.

In the end, only God can truly judge you, but don’t forget that He actually IS going to judge you.


“Don’t Touch the Stove!” “But Why mom?”

Proverbs 7:1-5 NLT

Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.

Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family.
Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.

Proverbs 7:1-5 ESV

My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.

To sum it up. Obey God’s commandments and keep reminding yourself of God’s law so that you do not disobey it!

Some of us fall into the routine of sin because we know Christ will forgive us of our sins and we see no point in following the Law. If Christ will forgive us, why can’t we just live life our way? What’s the big deal?

Let’s look at the Sabbath day for just a second. It was created not so that we have another law to follow, but for our own good. It is there to keep us from overworking ourselves. We all know when we begin to work hard, giving ourselves no break, we wear out physically, and quickly after that, mentally. It quickly tears us down. So God gave us the Sabbath day so that we can rest from the world and give ourselves a break. It was a commandment given for our own benefit.

I believe the same is true for all of the commandments. We may not always understand why, but we have to remember not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). It is like when a parent tells their child, “Don’t touch the stove!” Parents aren’t telling their children not to touch the stove because they want to abuse their power, they tell their children that because they know if the child touches the stove, their hand is going to burn. The parents are protecting the child from danger the child is not aware of.  As children grow older, parents enforce the “Be back before curfew” rule. Parents don’t tell their children that because they just want to make their kids miss out on “all the fun” it’s because parents are aware of the danger of being out at night. Teenagers aren’t always going to understand that a parents rule is only there for their own protection.

The same is with the commandments, it is all there for our own protection. Take some time for yourself and go through each of the commandments and think about the possible things God is protecting you from with each of them. Challenge yourself.

Constantly remind yourself of all of God’s Laws. They are there for your purpose. To fall in one area of the Law, is to fall in all areas.

Lastly, don’t forget God’s greatest Law for you.

Matthew 22:36-40 NLT

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

To anyone that noticed. I changed the bible translations from NIV and KJV to NLT and ESV. I did so to give an easier to read translation as well as a more literal translation to make studying the verses easier for everyone.

Blessing of the Law

Proverbs 3:1-2

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

Not to long ago I did a series on the Ten Commandments, you can find it here. The inspiration behind the series came from these verses. I wanted a way that I could keep the commandments in my heart at all times, and what better way than writing about them. When we looked at the Ten Commandments only one of them had a promise attached to it “Honor Your Father and Your Mother” or in full ““Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” But now Solomon is saying if you obey God’s Commandments “they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.” In other words, following the Ten Commandments will give you eternity in Heaven.

The Ten Commandments are not to be thought of like we think of the laws of our government. We think of the government laws as laws we have to obey or else we will get in trouble for it (Despite that they are actually there to protect others. But because of our selfish ways we only see them as laws we have to obey or else we get in trouble). The Laws of God are different. Yes if we don’t obey them we get in trouble. In fact, we get hell which is huge trouble! What is different though, is if we do obey them we get rewarded, Heaven. I like to picture it as God saying “Hey, I am going to give you this set of laws. If you choose to obey them, you will be rewarded with eternity with Me. However, if you choose to not obey them, that decision is up to you.” The second difference between God’s law and the laws of the government is that the laws of the government are about protecting others, especially protecting the minority from the majority. Us being sinful have a hard time with this, because we like to focus about ourself before others. God’s laws are cleverly designed and disguised to be about us. Each one of them is designed to protect us from something. If you go down the list I am sure you will be able to see what He is protecting you/us from.

When you think of the Ten Commandments, don’t think of them as another set of rules to follow. Don’t think of them as God giving us rules to follow, knowing we will break them causing us to feel hopeless. Rather, think of the Ten Commandments as a blessing. God loves us so much He gave us the law to protect us. He gave us the law that we might try to fulfill it and  “prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.” The Law is a blessing, not a curse.