"Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released." (Luke 6:37, AMP)
The above scripture sums up the "Golden Rule": Treat others as you would like to be treated. To judge others is like ruling "guilty" over someone's court case without truly knowing all the facts. When we judge others, we sentence ourselves to thatsame measure of judgment. When we act as arbitrators, we place ourselves in the judgment seat of God...He alone is Judge of all the people.
Matthew 7:2-5 says that when we judge, we do so "hypocritically". A hypocrite always judges and holdsothers to a higher standard than they themselves are willing to uphold. They speak one thing in public and do another behind closed doors; when they think no one else is looking. As Christians, we want to be a people that look to God for what is right or wrong in our own lives and not look to be critical of the actions of others.
Many times, when we see another's wrong doing, we hold a "debt" over their head. As if they owe us something. However, the Bible tells us that we must forgive and release that person. To release a person is to loose them and set them free from the jail cell we may try to hold over their heads. When we free this person from judgments, we ourselves become free because we don't have to carry the burden of playing mediator.
Now, that being said, it is important that we know that just because we are not to judge does not mean we are to hide our face from sin or wrong-doing. There is a difference between confronting a brother or sister out of love and concern and judging someone with a negative attitude and an incorrect assessment of them.
Believers must be careful not to be overly critical of one another. This kind of righteous attitude often turns many away from the cross when we should be pointing many towards the cross. Having difficulty not judging others? Take a moment to analyze your own life. Your regrets, your mistakes, your sins. Soon, that critical, judgmental heart will turn into a heart of love, compassion, and understanding towards others.
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org .