Tuesday, August 08, 2006

To Judge or not to Judge

Lord Jesus - thank you for the healing that we have seen in Emmajoy. After starting the 2nd antibiotic it was like on overnight clearing. All the "goo" disappeared and she no longer had to go to the doctors. She is feeling great and I took all the kids on the grandparent tour on Sunday. I just got back myself on Monday and have a mile long list of things I am to work on. Thank you for getting us all through that rough and scary time.

Lord, I am having a hard time working through some scripture I am going to be teaching real soon. In Micah 6:8 You state "to act justly". But then in Matt. 7:1-6 You talk about not judging lest you be judged. Can you help me with that Lord?

When I think about acting justly I think about treating others they way they should be treated, acting fairly to others, and not showing favoritism. Acting justly sounds like being the parent and having to pass out discipline because there has been an offense. But to do all those things one must pass some kind of judgment to know whether an offense has been committed or not. I think - is that right, Lord? Am I on the right track?

So then, let's go back to our Matt. 7 scripture about "judge not, lest you be judged". I looked in my Lexical Aids and all and it says nothing more than just that - judging means to judge, to pass judgment, to sentence, to look at right or wrong... BUT it does go on to explain about judging one based on how you are doing as a Christian. Putting up your deeds against theirs. And in there lies the difference.

It is one thing to look at an individual and see them stealing from a store and knowing that is wrong. You are looking at the offense and judging that it is wrong. But that is where I think we are to stop as humans. I Cor. 11:31 says to judge only yourself. So as we see the person stealing from a store we know the action is wrong and can judge that to be true. But we do not look at the person and know them to be a rotten to the core as we so often do. Intentions, motivations, thoughts, goals, dreams, aspirations, etc. are to be left for God's judgment according to His righteousness.

Based on Micah 6:8 acting justly in that stealing situation would be to not treat them unfairly if an encounter were to ever occur. Acting justly would be giving the benefit of the doubt - not turning a head to the obvious offense, but also realizing we have no idea what led up to that action. Acting justly would be willing to help resolve the situation.

Back down in Matt. verse 2 says with the same measure you judge, you will also be given that measure - Leigh paraphrase. So if you are acting justly and also add the rest of that Micah verse to your daily walk, "love mercy and walk humbly with your God" you will be able to "judge not"! (Ezek. 35:11 also talks about how God will judge a nation (Edom) based on how they treated and judged the Chosen People. Yikes!)

Lord, I think you have just revealed to me some of the answer to my question. Thank you, my Lord. A miracle right in front of my very eyes! Wow - very cool. Now if I am way off, please anyone that reads this let me know and Lord, please reveal before I share with any group.

Lord, you know this is an area of my life I have the worst time with. I am very quick to judge and I really need to wake up each day and surrender it to You in order to live victorious. Father, help me to not judge, but to love mercy and walk humbly!!!! Thank you for starting over each day with me! Your mercies are just incredible! Thank you!


cousin heather :) said...

I don’t think that you are off base at all, but I did a little dictionary comparison and what I found is that “acting justly” is really acting fairly. Treating others the way that God would have you treat them. It starts with God then involves you, and really has very little to do with the other person. And I agree with you…that if you are doing all that God requires, you won’t have the need or desire to judge.

Conversely, the first definition of judge was “to form an opinion or estimation of...” In that case, it starts with them and then involves you (and in turn what opinion you form of them). Where is God in that scenario? Your focus is on the wrong thing. With that understanding, judgment is no longer about you and God, but about you. And, if you are passing judgment, you are treating the other person the way that YOU see they should be treated...not the way God would have you treat them.

Intersting...thanks for starting that ball rolling! Now I want to explore where government is given the ok by God to judge, as in our court system...hmmm...

melanie said...

Hey Leigh - our minds are on the same things! check out my blog about self-righteousness. So glad your little girl is better! love melanie