Judge…that icky five letter word that means to climb up on a pedestal while simultaneously looking down ones nose and pronouncing an uniformed sentence.
1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
2: to sit in judgment on : try
3: to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
If I had a dollar for everytime I heard someone say “Don’t judge” or “We shouldn’t judge” or “Judge not” I would be sitting on a black sand beach in Hawaii.
Judging is simply a process of evaluation. One we use every day…when we sit down to watch a movie and after a few minutes decide to turn it off…we have judged that movie to not be fruitful for our Spirit. If it’s going to be hot or cold out, we make a judgement on what to wear. We judge the credibility of the person we’re talking to or listening to.
In Matthew 7 when Jesus said “Judge not, that you be not judged” He clarified in verse 5 who He was talking to…hypocrites. So many times we use those words in our defense to continue in our sin/wrong behavior. As Believers, we need to make certain we keep His words in context. He is not telling Believers not to judge. He is warning us we will be held accountable for that judgement.
Paul followed up that line of thinking with…
1 Corinthians 1:31-32(ESV) But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
God alone is THE judge however that does not mean He is the only one that judges.
God expects us to exercise judgement…righteous judgement.
John 7:24(AMP) Be honest in your judgment and do not decide at a glance (superficially and by appearances); but judge fairly and righteously.
Luke 12:57 (AMP) And why do you not judge what is just and personally decide what is right?
And we are given examples of required judgement…
Romans 16:17(ESV) I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
Matthew 7:15-20(MSG) “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.
Luke 17:3(ESV) Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
Galatians 6:1(AMP) Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.
1 John 4:1(AMP) Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.
All of which is totally impossible if we are not supposed to judge and God does not give us impossible tasks.
Remember…We are to exercise a fair, righteous judgement, discerned by His Spirit and executed in His wisdom.