Far too often you hear where people say things like “the Bible says ‘don’t judge'” when responding to correction or teaching on something that they are doing wrong. It is one of the most misused scriptures of all. The rest of the scripture says, “lest you be judged,” which means not to judge or YOU WILL BE JUDGED by the same manner. The scripture about “removing the beam out of your own eye before attacking the speck in mine” is indicative of being hypocritical.
But what if the person is simply reading scripture, God’s Word? Is that him/her being hypocritical, or is it teaching from the Word?
What if the person who is sharing what is wrong, or cautioning, is doing so out of genuine concern of your soul? What if he/she is fully ready to be “judged” by the same manner?
Too often, this attitude and statement is used to try to either scare or guilt the person into walking away from declaring the truth because the person on defensive just doesn’t want correction, even loving correction. Proverbs actually declares the person who hates correction as “stupid” and also states that the person who hates correction will die. (And NO, this is not threatening, or saying that we want anyone to die, just teaching scripture… it is sad that I must say that because there will be some person out there trying to twist this for more than what it really means.) In other words, the person who refuses correction is dangerous to him/herself and destroys his/her own life.
On the “flip side,” I bet you that if you approach those same people with comments about their blessings, how they must have been doing something good, or how their blessings are a testament to them being good people… they won’t throw “judge not, lest you be judged” at you! If you’re recognizing them for good things, they won’t say anything of the sort about “don’t judge me” which if it’s judgement one way (and a bad thing) then it is judgement the other way.
Ultimately, it is kind of like with a young child. A young child wants to act up all day long and only be rewarded, but as soon as you get to the punishment side for his/her wrongdoings, the child will say you are being mean.
So, to conclude, the point is this… Someone saying that something you are doing that is wrong, which really is wrong, is not JUDGING! It is a FACT! Now, if you say, “it’s none of your business” that’s another thing. But if you say that, you must don’t want true friends, because true friends are going to try to help you if they see you going the wrong direction. True friends are going to tell you you’re wrong if it will help protect you from dire results. And likewise, if you go to a church or hear a sermon of someone preaching what the WORD says is wrong and take offense, then it sounds more like the “hit dog will holler” situation than anything judgement, and if offended then you are offended by God, not the messenger!
Ultimately, the only true judge is God, whom we shall all face. Iron does sharpen iron though, and we are expected to look out for each other, including correcting or advising each other of dangerous paths. And the Bible is not so much saying you are “bad” for judging anyone, but that you will be held by the same standard that you hold others, so really, shouldn’t we all seek to raise our standard and that of the entire body of Christ?
Judge? Maybe so.